Twitter Told to Produce Protestor’s Posts or Face Fine
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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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.