Twitter fights for tweeps

twitter-logo_000jpegTwitter has filed an appeal regarding a decision back in June that ruled the company had to turn over detailed information on Twitter user Malcom Harris to the Manhattan District Attorney. Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protestor, was charged with disorderly conduct during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The ACLU will be filing a friend of the court brief as well. The ACLU believes that:

(u)nder the First and Fourth Amendments, we have the right to speak freely on the Internet, safe in the knowledge that the government cannot obtain information about our communications or our private information unless law enforcement first satisfies First Amendment scrutiny and obtains a warrant showing probable cause. The DA didn’t do that here. Instead, it has tried to avoid these constitutional hurdles by issuing a mere subpoena for Harris’s Twitter information.

The original decision held that:

...people like Harris can’t even go to court to protect their own constitutional rights when it comes to the Internet because, according to the court, we give up our constitutional rights whenever we provide information to a third-party Internet service like Twitter.

Even more disturbing:

(T)he court affirmed its earlier ruling that people like Harris can’t even go to court to protect their own constitutional rights when it comes to the Internet because, according to the court, we give up our constitutional rights whenever we provide information to a third-party Internet service like Twitter.

In addition, Harris has filed his own appeal.

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