Twitter must hand over an Occupy Wall Street protester’s posts and user information within three days, or face a fine, Tiffany Kary at Bloomberg reports.New York State judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. ruled today that if Twitter doesn’t relinquish the posts by Friday, the court will review the company’s earnings statements from the last two quarters to determine an appropriate fine.
“I can’t put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily,” Sciarrino said.
The court had already given Twitter 73 days to comply with its June 30 ruling ordering that the company must produce a little over three months’ worth of tweets from Malcolm Harris. Twitter has fought the order, arguing that the data belongs to Harris.
Twitter has maintained that the issue is a fundamental one of users’ rights. The company believes that authorities should target individual users, not Twitter, if it wants information from their accounts.
Police arrested Harris, known as @destructuremal on Twitter, on Oct. 1 along with about 700 fellow protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office wants the information to validate Harris’s claims that police led the march onto the bridge, implying that it was OK to do so, but then arrested them. Prosecutors, on the other hand, want the information to prove Harris and other protesters knew police made it clear not to walk on the bridge.
The judge has given Twitter until the end of the day today to file an appeal. We have reached out to Twitter and will update this story if we receive a response.
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