Earlier this week, a federal judge in Virginia handed down an order in the high-profile Twitter/Wikileaks case. That order has already been widely covered by the media, so I won't summarize it here.
Our servers automatically record information ("Log Data") created by your use of the Services. Log Data may include information such as your IP address, browser type, the referring domain, pages visited, your mobile carrier, device and application IDs, and search terms. Other actions, such as interactions with our website, applications and advertisements, may also be included in Log Data. If we haven’t already deleted the Log Data earlier, we will either delete it or remove any common account identifiers, such as your username, full IP address, or email address, after 18 months.
According to the useful website howlonghaveyoubeentweeting.com, Appelbaum's Twitter account was created on February 23, 2008, Gonggrijp created his on September 26, 2008, and Jonsdottir created hers on November 14, 2008.
When you visit the Site, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website ("Log Data" ). This Log Data may include information such as your IP address, browser type or the domain from which you are visiting, the web-pages you visit, the search terms you use, and any advertisements on which you click. For most users accessing the Internet from an Internet service provider the IP address will be different every time you log on. We use Log Data to monitor the use of the Site and of our Service, and for the Site's technical administration. We do not associate your IP address with any other personally identifiable information to identify you personally, except in case of violation of the Terms of Service.
There are a few things worth noting here:
- The government has not alleged that any of the 3 individuals violated Twitter's terms of service. As such, it would appear that they could reasonably rely on Twitter's claims that it wouldn't associate their retained IP address information with their existing account records or any other personally identifiable information.
This is very interesting.
The old version of Twitter's policy that the three individuals "agreed" to also includes the following paragraph about updates to the document:
In subsequent edits to the policy, Twitter reworded this section, so that it now reads: