US: On District Attorneys and Twitter Data Requests

Mike Isaac writes about how District Attorneys overreach in Twitter data requests, on

♦ Take the Occupy movement, for example.

Arrests made in major protests like Occupy that are aided by Twitter use are exactly where district attorneys move in. Thus far, D.A.s in New York, Boston and San Francisco have brought subpoenas for Twitter user data in civil cases against Occupy protesters, asking for information such as private messages between users, tweets from “protected” accounts, all Twitter information from an extended period of time, and, in the case of the San Francisco D.A., even data from others in conversation with the targeted user.

♠ There are certainly perfectly good reasons for issuing subpoenas for users’ Twitter and social network information. Indeed, Twitter and Facebook see it that way as well. It is built into both companies’ terms of service; if there’s a “good faith belief” that sharing said data with lawmakers would help “detect, prevent and address fraud and other illegal activity…[or] prevent death or imminent bodily harm,” then it may be turned over to the authorities.

Read the whole analysis here: Gone Fishin’: District Attorneys overreach in Twitter Data Requests.

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