Tom Schoenberg reports:
Three WikiLeaks backers lost their bid to keep information on them collected from their Twitter Inc. accounts from being turned over to U.S. prosecutors who are investigating the group’s publication of classified information.
U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday denied a request by the backers that the information sought by prosecutors be blocked while a federal appeals court considers their challenge. O’Grady, in his ruling, said the appeal has little chance of success because existing case law “overwhelmingly” supports the government’s position.
“Litigation of these issues has already denied the government lawful access to potential evidence for more than a year,” O’Grady said in his ruling. “The public interest therefore weighs strongly against further delay.”
The litigation over the Twitter data was the first public skirmish in the government’s criminal investigation of WikiLeaks’s leader, Julian Assange, and others who may have helped leak diplomatic cables and classified military documents through the WikiLeaks website.
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