Originally posted on Gigaom:
A Twitter account tied to an Occupy Wall Street protestor is at the center of an ongoing court fight to define individuals’ rights in their social media accounts. On Monday, Twitter described its role as a ”voice of liberty around the globe” and filed an appeal to argue that user tweets can be private.
The case turns on the Twitter account of Malcolm Harris who was arrested while walking on the Brooklyn Bridge during a 2011 protest. Early this year, prosecutors issued subpoenas demanding that Twitter turn over information for two names associated with Harris: “@destructuremal” and “@getsworse.” Twitter responded by telling Harris about the subpoenas who then asked a court to quash them.
In an April ruling that raised eyebrows in legal circles, Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. found that Harris couldn’t sue because his tweets belonged to Twitter. The judge also flashed his familiarity with social media by writing that ”the motion to “#quash” was “#denied.” (The judge has been disciplined in the past for trying to friend lawyers on Facebook). (s FB)