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4th Circuit rules for government on WikiLeaks data

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has ruled for the government and its electronic investigation into the disclosure of classified documents on the secret-busting WikiLeaks website.

The case involves three Twitter account holders with some connection to WikiLeaks.

They had argued that forcing the website to cooperate with the investigation by turning over data amounts to an invasion of privacy and has a chilling effect on free speech.

Ruling Friday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their appeal and affirmed a court order that Twitter must turn over limited account information.

Under the Stored Communications Act, the government can also keep sealed documents related to their investigation from the subscribers. The judges concluded the subscribers had no First Amendment right to access the documents.

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