Twitter fights Occupy Wall Street ruling

On Thursday, Twitter announced that it will appeal a ruling in the state of New York rather than compromise the personal data of one of its users.

The user is Malcolm Harris, a senior editor at online publication The New Inquiry and an active protestor in the Occupy Wall Street movement. In October 2011, Harris was arrested along with more than 700 other people in relation to a large Occupy Wall Street protest that blocked the Brooklyn Bridge.

In May 2012, New York County Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. subpoenaed Twitter to provide more than three months of tweets and other basic user information from Harris. Twitter challenged the subpoena, under the claim that users own their Twitter data according to Twitter's terms of service. In early July, the criminal court of New York City and the county of New York upheld the original order. Sciarrino in his opinion wrote that Twitter users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, because their tweets are public.

Twitter will now appeal Sciarrino's ruling. The announcement came Thursday morning from Twitter legal counsel Ben Lee, on Twitter.

Part of Twitter's appeal reads: "At Twitter, we are committed to fighting for our users. Accordingly, we are appealing this decision which, in our view, doesn’t strike the right balance between the rights of our users and the interests of law enforcement."

The ultimate decision in this case could have a major impact on the way Twitter is able to defend its users.

Source: AllThingsD

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According to what I've read, Mr. Harris claims one thing while his Tweets contradict his claims. In getting access to his Tweets, he can be proven wrong. I would want Twitter to keep tabs on my Tweets, too, if I were him.

Missed it or failed to read the second paragraph?

"In October 2011, Harris was arrested along with more than 700 other people in relation to a large Occupy Wall Street protest that blocked the Brooklyn Bridge."

Tekkerson said,
Missed it or failed to read the second paragraph?

"In October 2011, Harris was arrested along with more than 700 other people in relation to a large Occupy Wall Street protest that blocked the Brooklyn Bridge."

I didn't miss that at all. What did he do that requires a document subpoena? He has a constitutional right to protest and blocking a bridge along with a crowd doesn't sound like something that should require this.

Not sure if you edited or what but I originally replied to "What did he do to get arrested?", either way that's what required a document subpoena anyway whether or not it's his right to do what he did is up to the courts...

GreyWolf said,

I didn't miss that at all. What did he do that requires a document subpoena? He has a constitutional right to protest and blocking a bridge along with a crowd doesn't sound like something that should require this.


The right to protest is 1 of the most important parts of the Constitution... as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else. I don't know about you, but if I have to cross the Brooklyn Bridge right now and there's a mob of people blocking it, I'd be pretty ****ed off...