Twitter Ordered To Hand Over Occupier's Tweets To NY Court

I'm glad that Twitter is fighting requests like this that infringe on privacy, since most people simply can't afford the legal firepower necessary to respond. The judge says that there's no reasonable expectation of privacy, but I disagree. You can block anyone you want:

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter must give a court about three months' worth of an Occupy Wall Street protester's tweets, a judge said in a ruling released Monday after the company fought prosecutors' demand for the messages.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. rebuffed one of Twitter Inc.'s central arguments, which concerned who has rights to contest law enforcement demands for content posted on its site. But the judge said the company was right on a separate point that could require prosecutors to take further steps if they want to see one particular day of Malcolm Harris' tweets and his user information.

Sciarrino also decided that he would review all the material he ordered turned over and would provide "relevant portions" to prosecutors.

The case began as one of hundreds of disorderly conduct prosecutions stemming from an Oct. 1 Occupy march on the Brooklyn Bridge, but it has evolved into a closely watched legal tussle over law enforcement agencies' access to material posted on social networks.

The Manhattan district attorney's office said Harris' messages could show whether he was aware of police orders he's charged with disregarding. Twitter, meanwhile, said the case could put it in the unwanted position of having to take on legal fights that users could otherwise conduct on their own.

{...] Twitter called the ruling disappointing and said it was considering its next move.

[...] Twitter prevailed on another argument: that some of the tweets shouldn't be turned over because a federal law requires a court-approved search warrant, not just a subpoena issued by prosecutors, for stored electronic communications that are less than 180 days old.

Sciarrino found that law did apply — but only to Harris' tweets and information for Dec. 31, since the rest were more than 180 days old by the Saturday of the ruling. It was released Monday.

Prosecutors' bid for the tweets had spurred concern among electronic privacy and civil liberties advocates, and some cheered Twitter's decision to take up the fight at a time when authorities increasingly seek to mine social networks for information.


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