Planet Google

Googler Wants to Kickstart a ‘Nonviolent’ Occupy Wall Street Militia

Ms. Tunney (Photo: Twitter)

Justine Tunney is a New York-based software engineer at Google, but she’s also a prolific activist who was and continues to be instrumental to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A “transgender anarchist,” she founded and continues to maintain the @OccupyWallSt Twitter handle; her Github account has an Occupy Wall Street specific repository that boasts the tagline, “Stomping out capitalism, one line of code at a time.” And she also has an interesting new approach to crowdfunding. Read More

New Drone City

Game of Drones: Does NYC Have an ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’ Problem?


In late 2011, a slender Williamsburg resident named Tim Pool roamed downtown Manhattan, seemingly recording every minute of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Mr. Pool, an independent journalist, would use his smartphone to live-stream the demonstrations, sometimes for as long as 19 continuous hours, earning himself the nickname “The Media Messenger of Zuccotti Park” in Time magazine.

As the protests escalated, it became increasingly difficult for Mr. Pool to capture the civil disobedience from eye level. He yearned for an unhindered view—a higher vantage point, like from the sky.

“The fact that police would obstruct cameras just sort of put in our minds that we might be in a situation where you can’t get a good shot because there’s a wall or a fence or something,” Mr. Pool, now 27, told The Observer. Read More

All Your Tweets Are Belong to Us

Report: Twitter Caves, Will Hand Over OWS Protestor’s Tweets

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

For months, Twitter has gone back and forth with the District Attorney’s office over one user’s tweets related to the Occupy Wall Street protests. That user, Malcolm Harris, is being charged with disorderly conduct, and the tweets in question may help cement the case against him. Twitter originally appealed the subpoena to provide them, but earlier this week Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. told the company it had until today to cooperate or face a fine for contempt of court.

Now the Post says that Twitter will cooperate, and a report from Reuters seems to corroborate. Read More

All Your Tweets Are Belong to Us

Twitter Officially Appeals New York Judge’s Ruling to Provide Tweets of Occupy Wall Street Protester

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

As promised, today Twitter officially appealed the ruling of Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. that required the company to provide tweets by Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcom Harris published during an October 2011 demonstration. Last month, Twitter’s legal counsel Ben Lee announced the company would be appealing, but the document was officially filed today. Read More

Occupy the Internet

Does Tartan Tie TrapWire to Surveillance of Occupy Wall Street?

Tartan Metrics (Screen grab)

Russian news outlet has been excitedly suggesting that the TrapWire surveillance system marks the advent of an American police state. Now RT is suggesting a fairly direct connection between the shady ex-CIA types behind TrapWire and something called Tartan Metrics.

Tartan certainly uses dense doublespeak to describe itself, stating on its site landing page that it “quantifies key influencers and hidden connections in social networks using mathematical algorithms” for “un-biased output.” RT doesn’t note that Tartan is so secretive those interested in its services can try them for free over the web, but maybe they have more important information to impart–Tartan expressly mentions using its software and services to analyze Occupy Wall Street and related movements: Read More

99 AMAs

NYPD Officer Does Reddit Q&A, Further Confuses Us About Legal Implications of Jay-Z’s ’99 Problems’

(Photo: Magnetic Productions)

If Law and Order doesn’t provide you with sufficient insight into those who protect and serve our fine city, perhaps this Reddit thread can help. A user named 10-13 decided to initiate an “Ask Me Anything” post last night about his experience as a NYPD officer.

Perhaps because the Occupy Wall Street fervor has ebbed, or because 10-13 is a well-respected member of the r/NYC subreddit, the questions weren’t as pointed or aggressive as we anticipated. Maybe anonymous user names don’t automatically engender bad behavior, after all. Read More

All Your Tweets Are Belong to Us

Twitter Appeals New York Judge’s Ruling That the Company Hand Over Occupy Wall Street Tweets

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

The legal battle between Twitter and the Manhattan Criminal Court is heating up. Just a few weeks ago, we reported that Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. struck down Twitter’s protest of a subpoena requiring it to hand over tweets by Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protestor who was arrested for disorderly conduct during the Brooklyn Bridge protests.

Today, Twitter counsel Ben Lee announced–via Twitter, natch–that the company will be appealing Judge Sicarrino’s decision, stating that, “It doesn’t strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement.” Read More

All Your Tweets Are Belong to Us

New York Judge Overrules Twitter: Tweets Broadcast to the Public ‘Belong to the Public’

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

Things are not looking very good for Malcolm Harris, the Occupy Wall Street protestor who was arrested for disorderly conduct for taking place in the 2011 protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Back in April, a Judge ruled that your tweets are not your own, striking down a motion from Mr. Harris’s lawyer to block the courts from subpoenaing his tweets.

Twitter stood up for Mr. Harris in May, protesting the subpoena on several grounds, including the fact that the company’s terms of service explicitly state that all users own their content. Twitter’s Legal counsel, Ben Lee, told Betabeat, “As we said in our brief, ‘Twitter’s Terms of Service make absolutely clear that its users *own* their content.’ Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users.”

Unfortunately for Twitter, the company’s motion was overturned today by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr., who demanded that Twitter furnish Mr. Harris’s tweets. “While noting that laws regarding social media are evolving, [the judge] held that public speech, regardless of the forum, does not enjoy the protections of private speech,” reports the New York Times. Read More

Legal Eagles

Twitter Apparently Not Handing Over Jack Without A Search Warrant

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

When last we checked in with the legal struggle over Occupy Wall Street and Twitter accounts, it didn’t look great for anyone looking to keep their DMs out of court. At issue: The state wants data associated with a protestor charged with disorderly conduct. A judge ruled the defense can’t fight a subpoena, because–as the legal thinking went–the information on Twitter belongs to the company, not to the individual user. And Twitter’s policies seem to suggest they’ll hand material over in the event of a subpoena.

But it appears it won’t be quite that simple for the DA’s office. Rather than complying with the order, Twitter just filed a motion to quash it.

We reached out to Twitter for comment and received a statement from Legal Counsel Ben Lee: “As we said in our brief, “Twitter’s Terms of Service make absolutely clear that its users *own* their content.” Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users.” Read More