Tuesday, May 8, 2012

NY DA: All Your Base Information Are Belong To Us

Kevin Gosztola of FDL Dissenter:

Twitter has moved to quash a court order requiring the company to hand over data on  one of its users. The user, Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester who is being prosecuted in New York for disorderly conduct, has been battling a government subpoena for his communications. 
On April 20, a judge ruled Harris did not have standing to stop the state’s District Attorney from compelling Twitter to produce “any and all user information,” including his email address as well as any tweets posted between September 15 and December 31 of last year. However, under a provision of the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) that allows a service provider to quash orders for information if it would “cause an undue burden,” the company submitted a motion to protect Harris’ data. 
The defense of Harris—a user—that Twitter submitted is significant. It challenges a judge’s ruling that Harris had “no right to challenge the District Attorney’s subpoena for his own communications and account information” because he supposedly has “no proprietary interest in the content that he submits to Twitter.” This, Twitter points out, “contradicts Twitter’s Terms of Service and express language of the SCA.”  
Twitter finds handing over data would force the company to violate federal law, namely the Fourth Amendment. ... 
Not that anyone in power gives a good damn about the Fourth Amendment anymore...

Gosztola then enumerates some prosecutorial fishing expeditions against Occupy members and against Wikileaks volunteers, and details the ACLU and EFF responses. Are these actions relevant to you? They probably are, if you are any kind of activist and want to stay out of possibly indefinite detention. To all appearances, though, Twitter is on your side:
Twitter was ordered to turn over information on the WikiLeaks volunteers. It did not have to let them know they had been given a court order, but they did inform them and that led to the volunteers challenging the order in court (albeit unsuccessfully). 
This cannot end well. If the courts succeed in forcing online services to provide information they hold on users, information not given for the purpose of possibly indicting the users, then they have, among other things, compelled a user to testify against him- or herself.

Welcome to America. "All your base are belong to us."

(The Blogger text editor is a bloody aggravation if you do any block quoting at all.)

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes