Twitter Inc. has to turn over information about an Occupy Wall Street protester’s posts or face a fine, a judge ruled, giving the company three days to show it isn’t in contempt of court.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. in Manhattan today said Twitter must produce the information by Sept. 14 or provide its earnings statements from the last two quarters so he can decide on a fine. The judge had asked Twitter to show why it wasn’t in contempt of court after refusing to produce information about Twitter posts by protester Malcolm Harris in response to a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
“I can’t put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily,” Sciarrino said.
Twitter’s case will determine whether it faces the burden of responding to subpoenas for its users, the San Francisco- based company has said. The outcome is significant throughout the U.S. as law enforcement becomes more aggressive in seeking information about what people do and say on the Internet, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a May 31 court filing.
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