All Your Tweets Are Belong to Us

Occupy Wall Street Twitter Subpoena Should Be Thrown Out, Says Lawyer

malcolm harris Occupy Wall Street Twitter Subpoena Should Be Thrown Out, Says Lawyer

Mr. Harris's Twitter avatar. (twitter.com/@destructuremal)

The Manhattan District attorney recently faxed Twitter a subpoena asking the social media company to appear in court and to bring “any and all user information” related to the Twitter account of Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris. (No, it wasn’t because Mr. Harris started the rumor that Radiohead was playing in Zuccotti Park: the subpoena is related to Mr. Harris’s alleged disorderly conduct during the famous Saturday march that got more than 700 protesters arrested for walking in the street over the Brooklyn Bridge.) Yesterday, Mr. Harris’s lawyer asked the court to toss the subpoena, calling overbroad, improper and abusive, according to the New York Times. But would Twitter have heeded the call?

The company declined to comment on this specific case, but a representative pointed us to Twitter’sprivacy policy, which says it will comply with lawful orders for information. The bar is pretty high; the police can’t hit Twitter up for DMs on a whim. Twitter only responds if there is a subpoena or court order. “Requests for contents of communication require a U.S. search warrant,” Twitter says.

Twitter’s policy is to notify users when there has been a request for information on their accounts, so Mr. Harris got a note from Twitter letting him know his account was under scrutiny, which is somewhat comforting: at least you’ll know when they want to know. In the meantime, Mr. Harris has changed his Twitter bio: “real stories, callous revolutionary fervor, trickery ALL TWEETS PROPERTY OF TWITTER, INC.”

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

Comments

  1. Doesn’t The Manhattan District Attorney have anything better to do than pick on some little guy that really has done nothing but  commited maybe some minor infraction of the law. When their are really serious criminals running around manhattan ripping of investors is this the best that the  Manhattan District Attorney can do Really is it. And what does  The Manhattan District Attorney   hope to accomplish with all this. Or I should say what will they  accomplish  with all of this nothing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    that geek is fucked