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Twitter Fights Back to Protect ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protestor (Wired)
Twitter is standing firm against a court order to turn over user data related to an Occupy Wall Street protestor. The social media giant filed an appeal on Monday asking for a New York appeals court to reconsider earlier rulings ordering the social network giant to give the government tweets and account information on two Twitter accounts believed to have been used by magazine editor Malcolm Harris. PC Magazine In June, a New York judge ruled that Twitter had to hand over three months’ worth of tweets written by Harris, one of 700 protestors charged last fall during a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. His Twitter account will allegedly prove Harris’ failure to comply with police orders, the New York district attorney has said. CNET Twitter’s legal filing represents an ambitious effort to ground federal privacy law in the Fourth Amendment and persuade judges to take the privacy rights of Internet users more seriously. Even though the Fourth Amendment prevents “unreasonable” seizures by police, courts have not consistently extended that to the Internet data — not just posts on Twitter, but email, remote backups, cloud-based files such as documents and spreadsheets, and so on. GigaOM The ACLU has filed a brief to support Twitter’s appeal. In a statement, ACLU attorney Aden Fine, said “Under the First and Fourth Amendments, we have the right to speak freely on the Internet, safe in the knowledge that the government can’t get information about our speech without a warrant and without satisfying First Amendment scrutiny.” TechCrunch Along with announcing the appeal, Twitter attorney Benjamin Lee tweeted: “Twitter users own their Tweets. They have a right to fight invalid government requests, and we continue to stand with them in that fight.” VentureBeat In related news, Twitter.com has stopped displaying the names of third-party Twitter clients in tweets. It’s an outward sign of the service’s growing pains as it transitions away from a consumer client free-for-all. continued…
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