It's Not Just Your Tweets That Belong To Us

Recently I reported on the Manhattan District Attorney who subpoenaed the Twitter account of @destructuremal (aka 23-year-old Brooklyn writer Malcolm Harris) because of his participation in Occupy Wall Street...

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Recently I reported on the Manhattan District Attorney who subpoenaed the Twitter account of @destructuremal (aka 23-year-old Brooklyn writer Malcolm Harris) because of his participation in Occupy Wall Street.

As it turns out, Harris is the twit person who tricked thousand of New Yorkers into showing up at Occupy Wall Street for a Radiohead concert that was never going to happen. He was chosen as one of Gawker's Most Loathsome Gawker Characters of 2011 for the prank.

If thousands of disappointed New Yorkers wasn't enough, now Harris has dragged Gawker's Adrian Chen into the prosecutorial Twitter morass.

Chen writes:

Harris may not commit crimes on Twitter, but he did use the site's direct message function to trick me, on September 30th, into believing Radiohead was performing an impromptu show for Occupy Wall Street protesters down in Zuccotti Park. Harris, who writes for the New Inquiry magazine, was at the time a blogger for the radical journal Jacobin. He told me he'd heard the story about Radiohead, but his editor wouldn't allow him to print it.

Here are the two twitter messages Harris sent me the morning September 30th, which would likely be released to the DA under the subpoena.

Art+Culture committee will announce at Noon that Radiohead is the 4pm musical guest, my [editor] won't let me run it cuz band doesn't want media

Whereas I don't give a f-ck about what Radiohead wants. You didn't hear it from me, though.

"As more of our everyday communications take place on third-parties like Twitter, it's crucial to resist overly-broad intrusions by law enforcement, which is certainly what the DA's move appears to be," adds Chen, "It's not just Harris' privacy at stake, but that of anyone who communicated with him—no matter how full of sh-t he was."

It's still difficult to imagine what the Manhattan DA's office might want with such tweets, unless he waited patiently for hours at Zuccotti Park for Radiohead to show up and is still unhappy about that.

I do think it's no doubt a safe guess that Harris has a spot reserved on Gawker's "Most Loathsome Gawker Characters of 2012" list.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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