Twitter continues to protect its users
Sunbelt has a blog discussing Tom Corbett’s subpoena against Twitter seeking the identities of bfbarbie and CasablancaPA. The story links to a TM & © Harrisburg Television, Inc. story that comments
The Twitter representative was supposed to appear before the statewide investigating grand jury on May 14 to “give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” The court document does not specify what crime is being investigated.
The subpoena, issued May 6, further states that failure to attend may result in an arrest warrant for contempt of court. It is not clear whether Twitter has turned over the information.
Now I am not up to speed on US politics in general, nevermind this story in particular. The issue for me here is one simply of whether governments can use the law to usurp anonymity on the internet. It resonates with me because of my earlier blog, I wish I could live without FaceBook (I have since discovered, of course, that I can).
…The Justice Department released a presentation [that details] several social media companies’ data retention practices and responses to law enforcement requests. The presentation notes that Facebook was “often cooperative with emergency requests” while complaining about Twitter’s short data retention policies and refusal to preserve data without legal process.
disclosure by the EFF
For “cooperative with emergency requests” I read “we ask, they give”. Twitter, however, is my kinda guy. I just wish I could live without FaceBook.
So whether Twitter complied with Corbett’s subpoenas or not is of more than some interest. Well, this from the Philadelphia Inquirer posted yesterday:
With that, prosecutors said they had withdrawn the subpoena sent this month to Twitter Inc. in San Francisco, seeking clues to the identities of two Twitter users, one of whom they suspect is Cott.
Corbett’s office said that Cott’s sentencing made the subpoena unnecessary and that in any event, Twitter was refusing to give up the data.
Twitter was refusing to give up the data. I repeat, Twitter is my kinda guy.