In a case of first impression, Twitter is challenging a New York Criminal Court’s order to produce information through a subpoena, without first obtaining a warrant, asserting a violation of the defendant’s rights under the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution. In the case of People v Harris, Malcolm Harris is being prosecuted for disorderly conduct in connection with the Occupy Wall Street protest in October 2011.
To learn more about the case please review Stephen Vogel’s IP, Media, Etc blog posted earlier this month entitled “Case Over Tweets Scores Twitter a Win and Positive Press.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Freedom Foundation filed an Amicus brief in support of Twitter appealing these April 20 and June 30, 2012 rulings regarding Mr. Harris’ account “@destructuremal” to produce:
his personal email address andalso the content of all tweets, the date, time and the IP address that corresponds to each time he used Twitter over a three-and-a-half month period, and the duration of teach of Harris’ Twitter sessions.
Protection for Social Media usage under the Constitution remains an interesting challenge, and how this case plays out may have a significant impact for Social Media for years to come.