Twitter Refuses to Hand over Personal Data of a User to the Court
By on May 8th, 2012

With Cybersecuritry bills like CISPA floating around waiting to be passed, and its parents like SOPA and PIPA defeated, people are more aware than ever about privacy and online security concerns. This is a good time to redefine the handling of some matters, and Twitter has gone a step forward by taking its privacy policy seriously. Recently, Twitter has taken a bold step by standing up for one of its users, who took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Occupy Wall Street protests saw heavy use of social media, and the Twitter user in question, Malcolm Harris, is being prosecuted for ‘disorderly conduct’ in relation to the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Federal agencies and governments ask for a user’s online personal information too often nowadays, and they have aggravated their strategy for obtaining this information. Oftentimes, the user is totally unaware of a data request of this nature, and has no chance of reacting to such a request on time. Though, in some other cases, even after knowing this problem, the user is tied up in further legal constraints.

Indeed, even though Twitter provided notice to the Twitter user in this particular case, and even though he was able to get an attorney to file a motion seeking to quash the subpoena, the court found that the Twitter user did not have legal “standing” to challenge the D.A.’s subpoena.

This support shows clearly that Twitter stands for what it believes in, even if it is for one user. The First Amendment has been challenged numerous times, and with every passed challenge, it gets refined and defined better.

Author: Chinmoy Kanjilal Google Profile for Chinmoy Kanjilal
Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Chinmoy Kanjilal has written and can be contacted at

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