Twitter Fights Court Ruling on User Information Disclosure
Twitter appealed an order by the New York City Criminal Court that required to present “any and all” user information regarding Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris. Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. tried Harris for disorderly conduct on June 30 and ruled that he does not have the standing to invalidate the New York County District Attorney’s subpoenas for access to his Twitter records.
“Twitter users own their Tweets and should have the right to fight invalid government requests,” Twitter’s lawyers wrote in the appeal. “Law enforcement’s increased use of information from social media companies in criminal prosecutions,” they added.
Twitter’s legal counsel wrote in a tweet that the company will stand by its users in the fight against “invalid government requests.” With Vance’s office declining any comments on Twitter’s appeal, the American Civil Liberties Union sided with Twitter in their appeal.
Saying that freedom of speech over the internet should not be overruled by “a warrant showing probable cause” Aden Fine, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, states that the District Attorney “has tried to avoid these constitutional hurdles by issuing a mere subpoena for Harris’s Twitter information.“
Pleading that Harris’s constitutional protection was clearly overlooked in an attempt to gather a plethora of personal information, Fine condones the court’s actions in this case, writing that “This isn’t right.”