Twitter appeals order to hand over Occupier’s tweets

Twitter filed an appeal Aug. 27 in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court to overturn a criminal court ruling last month ordering the company to hand over three months worth of private tweets from Malcolm Harris, one of the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters arrested at a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge in November 2011.

Twitter had originally argued that its users own their tweets, so private tweets (as opposed to public tweets) were protected by the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure.  But in his July 2 ruling ordering Twitter to comply with the subpoena, Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino said, “If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.”

In its appeal of Sciarrino’s ruling, Twitter turns that argument on its head, pointing out that “…the government concedes it is unable to publicly access Defendant’s Tweets…The fact that the government needs Twitter’s assistance to get access to these communications coupled with the fact that the user is explicitly opposing this access, contradicts the notion that the user has no reasonable expectation of privacy in these Tweets.”

2 thoughts on “Twitter appeals order to hand over Occupier’s tweets

  1. Pingback: GOP Platform Supports Privacy & Internet Freedom, Opposes Net Neutrality | WegbertWire

  2. Pingback: Twitter Faces Fines for Resisting Subpoena of Private Tweets | WegbertWire

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