Twitter Told to Produce Protestor’s Posts or Face Fine

Twitter Told to Produce Protestor’s Posts or Face Fine

Tiffany Kary
Bloomberg Businessweek
Tue, 09/11/2012

Twitter provides real-time messaging and allows users to make posts that are broadcast to people who sign up to follow them. The company contends that users, not the company, have the right to fight requests for their personal information.

“It’s pretty outrageous that the D.A.’s office wants to prohibit Twitter from exercising its right to appeal,” said Martin Stolar, a lawyer with the National Lawyers Guild who represents Harris, after the hearing. Harris was denied his own motion to quash Vance’s subpoena in April. Twitter had intervened, asking Sciarrino to reverse that ruling, which had also found that Twitter, not Harris, was responsible for producing the tweets.

The information sought covers about 3 1/2 months, including Harris’s arrest date. Vance’s office said it only seeks subscriber information linking Harris to the account at issue, and tweets that were already publicly disseminated. Twitter has said that if the information was public, Vance’s office wouldn’t have to subpoena it.