Birgitta Jónsdóttir

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Person.png Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
20160211 MM 45496(1) (cropped).jpg
Reykjavík, Iceland
PartyCitizens Movement, (2009–2013), Pirate Party, (2013–present)
Icelandic MP who was a plaintiff in a case against Obama over the 2012 NDAA

Birgitta Jónsdóttir (born 17 April 1967) is an Icelandic politician[1][2]. She was a Member of the Althing (MP) from 2009 to 2017, representing the Pirate Party, having been elected at the 2013 election. In November 2017, she has announced to retire from politics "for now".[3]

She published her first book of poetry at the age of 22, and later became a web developer. She was a noted Icelandic activist, and took on a number of roles during the protests following the 2007–2008 financial crisis.

She was first elected as an MP representing the Citizens' Movement in the 2009 election. Later in 2009, she left the Citizens' Movement and joined The Movement.

She became involved with WikiLeaks during Julian Assange's visit to Iceland in 2010, and helped to produce the Collateral Murder video. Following her time with WikiLeaks, she created the International Modern Media Institute, of which she became executive director in 2011.

In the 2013 election, Birgitta was elected as a Pirate Party MP, alongside two others. She was Chairman of the Pirate Party from 2014 to 2015.

Legal battles

In 2011, the US Department of Justice issued a subpoena to Twitter for all of Birgitta's Twitter information dating back to November 2009. In response, Birgitta petitioned a federal appeals court in Virginia to force the Department of Justice to open its files on her to disclose the other internet providers that had also been ordered to submit her private data.[4][5]

In 2012, she was a plaintiff in the lawsuit Hedges v. Obama, initiated against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). The NDAA allowed the US government to detain indefinitely those "who are part of or substantially support Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States." Her fellow plaintiffs included Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Alexa O'Brien and Cornel West. Her testament was read by Naomi Wolf in her place in March 2012.[6] In the judgement of the court, Birgitta Jónsdóttir and fellow plaintiff Kai Wargalla presented separate evidence against the NDAA to the other plaintiffs, as neither were US citizens. During the judgement of the district court, according to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the "district court found that both Birgitta and Wargalla had an actual fear of detention under Section 1021 and had incurred costs and other present injuries due to this fear."[7] The result of the case was that a New York district court issued an injunction on the detention powers, but, in 2013, this was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.


Legal Case

Hedges v. ObamaDaniel Ellsberg
Chris Hedges
Noam Chomsky
Jenifer Bolen
Kai Wargalla
Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Alexa O'Brien
Barack Obama
Leon Panetta
John McCain
John Boehner
Harry Reid
Eric Cantor
Nancy Pelosi
US Department of Defense
Mitch McConnell
United States of America
13 January 201228 April 2014The plaintiffs challenged the 2012 NDAA contending that indefinite detention on "suspicion of providing substantial support" to groups such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban was so vague as to allow unconstitutional, indefinite detention of civilians based on vague allegations. The Court of Appeals struck down an initial agreement, and the US Supreme Court concurred, arguing that the plaintiffs could not prove they would be affected by the law, so had no standing to contest it.
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