The United States government has issued a production order at Wikileaks for information on Julian Assange through the Patriot Act, according to WikiLeaks' Twitter feed.
The United States Department of Homeland Security issued a production order, which essentially acts as a subpoena, at Wikileaks' California Domain Name System server, Dynadot. WikiLeaks reports that the server is complying with the American government.
The production order comes on the same day of WikiLeaks releasing another batch of cables - this time 35,000 - primarily culled from U.S. embassies in China and Libya.
WikiLeaks also reported that it was under a sustained Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDOS) and was forced to use backup severs, but yet the U.S. government did nothing to help it stop the attacks or look into who is conducting the attacks. A worldwide coalition of government officials has recently arrested persons involved with DDOS attacks, including against PayPal.
The production order intended for information for a U.S. Grand Jury in Alexandria, Va., could be the first major step by the United States government in labeling WikiLeaks a terrorist organization. The U.S. Patriot Act was put in place by former President George W. Bush on Oct. 26, 2001 after the terroristic attacks on U.S. soil on Sept. 11.
The Patriot Act serves multiple purposes but is primarily known for giving government intelligent agencies more power than ever to protect the country against threats.
Assange has spent the last six months under apparent house arrest in Sweden as he fights sexual crime allegations. He has remained a person of general interest for the United States after posting sensitive government cables and was called a hi tech terrorist by Vice President Joe Biden.
This case bears watching as to how the United States pursues Assange and WikiLeaks, particularly with the rise of Anonymous. Anonymous has had success with a batch of DDOS attacks, including taking down government Web sites and releasing private information, but as of yet the United States government has done nothing more than condemn their actions.