Occupy Wall Street Protester: Judge Had No Right To Order Twitter To Hand Over Tweets

Judge Matthew SciarrinoJudge Matthew Sciarrino

Photo: Facebook/Matthew Sciarrino

A Wall Street protester’s lawyer is fighting a judge’s decision to demand that Twitter hand over his client’s user info and tweets, calling the order “far outside the realm of a legitimate ruling,” Reuters is reporting.Malcolm Harris was charged with blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge along with hundreds of other Occupy Wall Street protesters in October 2011.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Twitter in an effort to prove Harris sent tweets indicating he knew he shouldn’t have been on the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York state court judge Matthew Sciarrino has ruled the city’s lawyers had a right to do so because Twitter “owned” those tweets.

In June the judge also rejected Twitter’s contention that it should be able to ignore the subpoena to protect Harris’ privacy rights, Reuters reported.

Now Harris’ lawyers are arguing the judge’s rulings far overstepped his authority, Reuters reports.

They contend information prosecutors are seeking is essentially surveillance data since it shows Harris’ location when connected to the microblogging site.

“In this case, anyone reviewing the information and material Twitter has been ordered to turn over will know each time — between September 15 and December 30, 2011 — Harris logged into his Twitter account, where he was when he logged in, how long he remained there and both what he did and who he communicated with while he was logged in,” the lawyers wrote in an motion seeking to enjoin the judge’s orders.

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