News24

Twitter appeals data order

2012-07-20 08:28

New York - Twitter said it was appealing a court ruling ordering it to turn over data on one of its users involved in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement.

In a case watched closely as a test of online freedom of speech, Twitter's attorney Benjamin Lee said in a tweet: "We're appealing the Harris decision. It doesn't strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement."

The announcement came weeks after Manhattan criminal court Judge Matthew Sciarrino ruled that law enforcement had the right to see tweets and other user data from Malcolm Harris, who is being prosecuted for disorderly conduct in connection with an Occupy protest on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011.

The judge said that the tweets are not private information and thus not subject to the constitutional guarantee of privacy.

"If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy," he said in an 11-page ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others have cited the case as a test of free speech online. The ACLU said it hopes the decision is eventually overturned.

Comments
  • jason.mcdonahugh - 2012-07-20 09:11

    Keep fighting it twitter!!!!!

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-20 10:09

    Hey judge, ever heard of copy and paste? A screen shot? Why do you need a warrant or court action to get the "public" info on his twitter account? Most probably looking for damning or incriminating tweets he might have deleted, which leads me to believe the judge is bias.

      skia.bran - 2012-07-20 10:30

      i don't think copy/paste and screen shot would be admissible being to easy to fake. but the judge is right it is a public forum therefor not private

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-20 10:45

      Well they could just hook up a laptop in court and look at his twitter page live then ;-)

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