twitter logo Twitter ordered to reveal Occupy protesters tweets

A US judge has ordered Twitter to hand over the tweets by one of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, with the court threatening to fine the company if it does not comply.

A US judge has ordered Twitter to hand over the tweets by one of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, with the court threatening to fine the company if it does not comply.

 
Judge Matthew Sciarrino of the Manhattan Criminal Court told Twitter it has until Friday to produce the nearly three months of deleted tweets from protester Malcolm Harris, which could prove pivotal in his prosecution.
 
The judge originally made its order on 30 June, which means Twitter has already had 73 days of failed compliance. It now faces a charge of civil contempt and a large fine that will take its revenue in the last two quarters into account.
 
Harris was arrested along with hundreds of others on 30 October 2011 on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking traffic, but his lawyer and the lawyers of many of the other accused claim that it was the police who led the protesters onto the roadway.
 
tweet Twitter ordered to reveal Occupy protesters tweets
 
However, prosecutors believe the illusive tweets could unravel Harris' defence by showing that he knew that police told protesters not to walk on the roadway. Such a revelation could also weaken the cases of others facing similar charges.
 
So far Twitter has resisted the demand, citing user privacy for not sharing the tweets with the court, an important issue for social networking sites which already suffer from privacy controversies. It claims the latest refusal to hand the tweets over is because it had appealed the court order, but the judge said that its application had been denied and the order still stands.
 
The case continues on Friday, giving Twitter very little time to find a way of not breaching a user's privacy without also breaking its budget with a large fine.
 
Source: Reuters