Twitter Privacy Challenge Sealed by Court

30 December 2011 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Author(s): Peter Vogel

A Judge in Boston sealed the court records after a brief hearing challenging the District Attorney’s subpoena to Twitter to get the identity of certain accounts. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the subpoena and was very disappointed in the sealing of the records.  

The New York Times reported

The police in Boston and the Suffolk County district attorney issued the subpoena in an effort to get information about the Twitter account @P0isAn0N and other activity on the social network related to the Occupy Boston protests. The owner of the @P0isAn0N account had also linked to personal information about Boston police officers that had been stolen in a hacking attack. 

However the subpoena also requested of the identity of Guido Fawkes, well-known British blogger named Paul Staines who by all accounts was not involved with Occupy Boston. Whoever issued the subpoena apparently did not understand the difference between hashtag and an account. Here’s the list of names in the subpoena:

Guido Fawkes

Since Twitter lost a similar battle over anonymity over WikiLeaks it will be interesting to see how this court action plays out.

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