The US Democratic National Committee (DNC) has subpoenaed Wikileaks via Twitter.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, the DNC’s law firm, filed a motion to serve Wikileaks through Twitter and first-class mail on 20 July. The motion was granted by US District Court Judge John Koeltl on 6 August.
On 10 August, Cohen Milstein tweeted to Wikileaks from a newly created account linking to legal documents hosted on a website that appears to have been created for the purpose.
“Because WikiLeaks has more of a virtual than a physical presence, the court can and should exercise its authority…to authorize service by Twitter,” the firm wrote in its motion.
The firm said that the DNC had tried and failed to serve the organisation through other methods, such as email and contacting past lawyers. It said that previous tweets by the Wikileaks Twitter account showed the organisation is aware of the lawsuit, even once asking for donations to file a countersuit.
The lawsuit, which claims millions in damages, was filed in April in a federal court in Manhattan. It alleges breaches of America’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and federal and Washington state trade secrets acts.
The lawsuit is also notable for the number of defendants. Among those named in the suit are Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Trump campaign, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, the Russian Federation, and general staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
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