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Twitter Rejects Prosecutors' Subpoena For a User's Data Without Warrant 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-and-what-army dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "In defense of user privacy, Twitter filed a motion (PDF) yesterday in a New York state court asking a judge to block a subpoena that would force the company to turn over the data of one of its users, Malcolm Harris. Harris was arrested in an Occupy Wall Street protest on the Brooklyn Bridge in October for 'disorderly conduct.' The company's lawyers claim that the subpoena violates the fourth amendment and Twitter's terms of service, which says that users' tweets belong to them and thus can't be handed over to law enforcement without their consent."
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Twitter Rejects Prosecutors' Subpoena For a User's Data Without Warrant

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  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaktar (975138) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:44PM (#39935847)

    That's fine. This is what due process is all about.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:51PM (#39935901)

    That's fine. This is what due process is all about.

    Uh, due process? OK, how about root cause? Let's start at step one and answer the relevancy between someones private communications and a charge of disorderly conduct. What, are all OWS detainees winning the grand prize of an FBI file? Are they now considered domestic terrorists?

    Kudos to Twitter and recognizing due process, but it is the least of our concerns here.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:03PM (#39936027)

    Sounds to me like the subpoena is a fishing trip... that should be blocked. If there are specific tweets they want more detail about, let them subpoena those.

  • Re:FTFY (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:08PM (#39936079)

    No, it's correct. If you're going to be pedantic, at least make it correct. Can't here means that it would be a violation of their ToS and that they'd likely get sued or subjected to whatever penalties that entails.

    Can't hasn't meant only ability for centuries, get with the times man.

  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:24PM (#39936227) Homepage Journal
    Twitter is most deffinately doing The Right Thing here.
  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:40PM (#39936421)

    Pretty much every protester is considered a possible terrorist by the gov't today, and it's likely that most of the OWS protesters went in with the assumption that they were going to get a file opened on them.

    And we are back to the 60s again when the FBI used to send people into churchs and other gatherings of non-violent organizations in order to spy on, and sometimes screw with, them. COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org] shit. Pretty sad it only took ~35 years for them to start pulling the same stunts. We have some really short institutional memory.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnapaJones (2634697) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @09:17PM (#39936745)

    A police state? Perhaps not. A corrupt government? Definitely. TSA, Patriot Act, "for the children" excuses left and right, free speech zones, NDAA, completely idiotic wars...

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @09:29PM (#39936853)

    Except that a subpoena _IS_ due process...

    As is contesting one. Civilized men settle their differences in courts of law.

    Government: "Hand it over!"
    Twitter: "No."
    Both: "Rather than the government breaking out the tanks, and Twitter breaking out the Molotovs, why don't we just ask a judge how we should resolve this?"

    Trial by observing the ritual combat of lawyers beats the hell out of the alternative.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @10:15PM (#39937143)

    and seems to think we are in a police state.

    Umm.. have you been outside in the past few years? Perhaps read news articles that aren't tailored for nerds? Assuming you live in America, you are in a police state.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @10:34PM (#39937239)
    I'm outside all the time, and have not seen this police state you're blabbing about. Do you even know WTF a police state is?
  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lexsird (1208192) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @10:49PM (#39937337)

    One might argue that Booth considered himself a patriot, is what the sig is saying I think.

    When does anyone wake up and consider themselves a proper villain? I doubt even Hitler thought of himself as a villain.

    History determines who is the villain and who is the patriot. The victors write history. Some philosophers might are argue that there is no "right or wrong", just different points of view. The matter seems highly subjective, yet ironically, it's insisted upon being objective by everyone.

  • Re:Sounds nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pdabbadabba (720526) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @01:09AM (#39938007) Homepage

    I've never understood people who suggest that assigning moral blame is simply the victors prerogative, as though nobody else would have an opinion. If this were the case, history would not contain episodes of "victor"-villainization. But they're actually really easy to find. In the U.S. alone, and just off the top of my head, we have slavery, genocide (or close to it) of the native americans, japanese internment, segregation, the Mai Lai massacre...the list goes on. No, I think it is cear that people can detect right from wrong (if only very imperfectly) no matter how the victor spins it. (Of course, suppressing information may be a problem; but it's a different one from the mater of moral relativism you're talking about.)

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