The Department of Homeland Security has gone after California domain name registrar Dynadot, using a clause within the USA PATRIOT Act to demand the company hand over any and all information they have on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
The sealed order (PDF) cites an ongoing criminal investigation and demands that the company hand over everything it has on any subscribers “associated with WikiLeaks,” including their credit card numbers.
The Obama Administration has been attempting to find some sort of legal rationale for moving against Assange, albeit so far without success. WikiLeaks has released massive numbers of classified documents revealing embarrassing and sometimes criminal actions by State Department officials. A number of other documents have been released detailing military crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The PATRIOT Act provisions are nominally aimed at terrorism, and its use against WikiLeaks underscores the Obama Administration’s willingness to expand its use wherever it may be convenient.