The 160 page document below contains a list of every search warrant under seal for criminal cases in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (E.D.V.A.) between May 3, 2010 (the month that Manning was arrested at F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq) and April 11, 2013.
As of April 11, 2013 the list contains approximately 2548 search warrants. The search warrants encompass a number of criminal investigations in E.D.V.A..
Between May and December of 2010 there were a total of 456 search warrants filed under seal (700 for 2010). There were 756 search warrant filed in 2011, and 292 entries between January 1 and April 11, 2013.
A search warrant, or 'sw' must specifically describe probable cause for evidence of a crime. The Clerks Office informed me that search warrants are generally kept under seal until an investigation is closed or an indictment is unsealed.
WikiLeaks Grand Jury
The criminal investigation into WikiLeaks is a joint partnership between the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice.
On November 29, 2010 and December 6, 2010 the U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice Eric Holder publicly confirmed an "active, ongoing criminal investigation" and grand jury probe of WikiLeaks. The criminal investigation was confirmed to be ongoing on March 26, 2013.
An agent for Army CID testified at Manning's pretrial hearing in December 2011 that seven civilians were investigated by the FBI, including the "founders, owners, or managers of WikiLeaks." The FBI file, lead military prosecutor, Major Fein said, was "42,135 pages or 3,475 documents"-- the entirety of which is classified at the Secret level. In November 2012, Fein, stated in court that the Army CID investigation into WikiLeaks is ongoing because the media organization continues to publish classified information.
United States v. Pfc. Manning
In his court-martial currently underway at Fort Meade, MD, military prosecutors have casts Manning as a traitor-- indiscriminately harvesting information for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in willful disregard of the safety of military personnel and the national security of the United States. Manning will faces 149 154 years plus life as maximum punishment if convicted on all charges.
Each of the 21 offenses against Manning builds into the U.S.G.'s magnum theory of its case, culminating in the maximum offense of aiding the enemy-- which could put Manning away for life. Manning's defense strategy is as much about mitigating prosecutorial overreach with charges like the Garani video-- with its nexus to the federal criminal investigation of WikiLeaks-- as it is about reducing the 20 years of confinement he is already exposed to by his current plea to 10 lesser included offenses.
n late February 2013, Manning pled to ten lesser included offenses under the Espionage Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and Article 92 or a "failure to obey a lawful general regulation." Manning pled not guilty to the willful communication of the Garani video as charged by the U.S.G. It was the only espionage charge for which Manning did not plead to a lesser included offense (LIO).
Eric Schmiedl, '[email protected]
One entry found in the list below by Jason Gulledge, a researcher on the usvwikileaks.org data-journalism project is a search warrant for the email address of Eric Schmiedl.
Case No. 1:10-sw-00464, USA v. [email protected]
Manning reportedly met Schmiedl, a lock-picker and MIT mathematician, at a Boston University open house for a hacker-space called BUILDS on his mid-tour leave from Iraq on January 27, 2010.
In an alleged email chain between Manning and Schmiedl dated May 11 to 19, 2010, Manning allegedly confessed: "I was the source of the 12 Jul 07 video of the Apache Weapons team which killed the two journalists and injured two kids."
In their opening statement on June 3, military prosecutors alleged that Manning helped WikiLeaks edit the Collateral Murder Video:
You will also hear testimony your Honor that when the Apache video-- so when the 12 July 2007 video was initially released by WikiLeaks, it was released as an edited version and the evidence will show that PFC Manning was part of this editing process.
Manning pled to the lesser included offense for the unauthorized possession and willful communication of the Collateral Murder video. The evidence presented by military prosecutors that Manning helped edit the video, however, is weak. In the same email exchange, military prosecutors said, Manning allegedly wrote, "I approved the edits without reviewing the video."
In July and August 2010, Army CID interviewed two unknown American civilians, who said investigators "were focusing in part on a group of friends who know Pfc. Manning" and investigators believe "that Manning's friends, who include students from MIT, and BU, might have connections to WikiLeaks." In September 2010, David House was also detained for questioning at the border and questioned about his work with the Manning Support Network as well as his political beliefs.
Herbert Snorrason, Google Account Search Warrant
According to the search warrant dated October 14, 2011, filed under Case No. 1:11-sw-594, Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan ordered Google to turn over all the content of Snorrason's Google account, to include: emails associated with the account (both to and from) draft emails, and deleted emails. Buchanan also compelled Google to turn over all the metadata and content related to the Snorrason's Google account, user activity, and communications.
Snorrason is known for inviting WikiLeaks to speak at the Icelandic Digital Freedom Society, after the organization published a confidential exposure analysis of 205 companies each owing above EUR45M to the Icelandic bank Kaupthing in July 2009. Snorrason was associated with WikiLeaks in late 2009 and subsequently with OpenLeaks.
In January 2013, military prosecutors filed for judicial notice of news reports they intend to use to try to 'substantiate' the identity and location of an individual Manning allegedly chatted with, who military prosecutors, allege is Julian Assange in Iceland. The news reports were published by New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, and the BBC.
Manning stated at an inquiry hearing where he pled to nine lesser included offenses of the Espionage Act and one violation of Article 92 for failure to obey a lawful general regulation that he did not know the identity of the individual he allegedly chat with at the WikiLeaks organization and that he took sole responsibility for the leaks.
Found in the list of search warrants below is an entry pertaining to Snorrason's Google account, Case No. 1:11-sw-594.
The entry notes that Case No. 1:11-sw-594 was assigned to Liam O'Grady on March 26, 2013. The unsealing order notes that the non disclosure order had expired.
A search of the Pacer system shows that Case No. 1:11-sw-594 was also still "Under Seal".
Other Unidentified Google Search Warrants
Also, contained in the list below is a search warrant issued to Google on August 24, 2011 that relates to a2703(d) order issued to Google on June 10, 2011. Both the search warrant and 2703(d) order pertain to the same subscriber and are referred to together by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neil MacBride, and Assistant U.S. Attorney with the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, Andrew Peterson, in a Government filing.
Peterson and MacBride are involved in the WikiLeaks Grand Jury investigation. Peterson also joined the Megaupload prosecution in June 2012.
In a filing the Government asked for clarification in opposition to Google's motion to unseal to authorize the search provider to disclose the secret order to its subscriber.
On February 28, 2012, this Court entered orders in 1:11 EC 56 and 1:11 SW 454 authorizing Google to "deliver to its subscriber" a redacted copy of the search warrant filed under that number and a copy of the Court's June 20, 2011 Order issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d).
In the Government's recounting of the case for the filing, MacBride and Peterson cite the Court's February 28, 2012 ruling to unseal the secret order to the subscriber:
"It is difficult to imagine circumstances in which this Google subscriber, as described by the government in its brief, has not assumed government access to this account and acted accordingly." In re a 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d) Order issued to Google, Inc. on June 10, 2011, No. 1:11 EC 56 (E.D. Va. Feb. 28,2011) (emphasis added [by MacBride and Peterson]).
The Government goes on to say the Court found "that Google's
subscriber was aware of the government's investigation and likely assumed government access to the account."
The Government also argued that the sealing be extended while the Government and Google clarify their oppositional understanding of the unsealing order. Google understood the Court's February 28, 2012 order to mean that the secret order to be revealed to any person, although Google only intended to share it with the subscriber. While the Government understood the unsealing to pertained to the individual subscriber alone.
On March 26, 2012 the Court ruled that the secret order could be unsealed and that the subscriber was at liberty to disclose its contents to others.
The Court ruled similarly the same day regarding permissible disclosure for the Search Warrant Issued to Google on August 24, 2011
Diplomatic Security Services, Computer Investigations and Forensic Division
Also found below is a search warrant for Case No. 1:11-sw-00414, USA v. Diplomatic Security Services, Computer Investigations and Forensic Div., 1400 Wilson Blv. Rm 12000, Arlington, VA, dated August 8, 2011.
Military prosecutors at Fort Meade have acknowledged that the F.B.I. and Diplomatic Security Service (D.S.S.) participated in U.S. Government's joint investigation. The Department of State, Department of Justice, CIA, and ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] are closely aligned with the Government's joint investigation. The Court also found that ONCIX [Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive] was also closely aligned.
"The State Department became involved with the U.S. investigation immediately because of nature of information obtained in chats," said Agent Mark Mander of the U.S. Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit at the pre-trial.
The Department of State had been investigating the leak of a U.S. State Department cable, 'Reykjavik 13' prior to Manning's arrest. In early June 2010, P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesperson, who resigned after publicly criticizing the D.O.D.'s punitive pretrial confinement of Manning, said that the "State Department was working closely with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID)" in Iraq.
Diplomatic Security Service at the Department of State was responsible for handling all the forensic analysis of Manning's hard drives that were collected by C.I.D. agents in Iraq. Those hard drives arrived in D.C. on June 10, 2010.
Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security and the former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's Counterterrorism Division for the Diplomatic Security Service wrote that a secret grand jury had already issued a sealed indictment for Assange in January of 2011 "Not for Pub -- We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect."
At the time of the search warrant below was issued, the F.B.I. were also reportedly investigating WikiLeaks in Iceland under the pretext of an alleged cyber attack on the computer system of the Icelandic government. The Icelandic Minister of Interior, Ogmundur Jonasson, it is reported, found out about the F.B.I.'s intentions to interrogate an Iceland citizen as part of the U.S. investigation of WikiLeaks on August 25th 2011, and ordered local police against cooperating with U.S. agents.
The usvwikileaks.org Project
The dataset below is currently being transposed to text by Gulledge and others and will be subsequently imported into the database.
For a list of every electronic communication 'ec' orders under seal for criminal cases in the U.S. District Court for the E.D.V.A between May 2011 and April 2013, go (here (PDF) or to here, usvwikileaks.org).
List of every search warrant filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia between May 3, 2010 and April 11, 2013
This work by Alexa O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at alexaobrien.com.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at [email protected].