Twitter to give up OWS tweets

The judge ruled that no one could have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding tweets

By Hélène Hofman
July 3, 2012 5:45PM (UTC)
main article image
Police arrest an Occupy Wall Street protester at Zuccotti Park on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 in New York. (AP/Bebeto Matthews)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

A New York judge has ordered Twitter to hand over the tweets and account information of Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris.

Global Post

Reuters reports that the Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino rejected Twitter Inc's central argument that the move would violate Harris' privacy.


"If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy," the judge wrote in his decision, according to the news agency. However, BBC adds that the judge said he would personally review the information and would only release the relevant sections to prosecution and defense lawyers.

Harris was amongst several hundred Occupy Wall Street demonstrators arrested during a protest march across Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1 last year, The Guardian explains. Prosecutors say that messages posted by Harris under the twitter handle '@destructuremal' may show whether he was aware of the police orders he is charged with disregarding.

Twitter says the case could put it in the unwanted position of having to take on legal fights that users could otherwise conduct on their own, CBC reports.


Harris' case is just the first of hundreds of disorderly conduct prosecutions stemming from the Oct. 1 Occupy march.

Hélène Hofman

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