In case you are under the impression that your tweets are just your business, then think it over. Courts have made it clear that the data on twitter can be used for criminal and civil cases. This order came from New York Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino who has asked Twitter to hand over Harris’ tweets and data of almost three-and-a half month.
Harris, a Brooklyn resident was arrested with 700 other people during an Occupy Wall Street march on the Brooklyn Bridge’s roadway on October 1, 2011 during an Occupy Wall Street march on the Brooklyn Bridge’s roadway on October 1, 2011. He was charged with disorderly conduct.
However, Twitter is not really happy with the court’s order. They are of the view that if they give in to the judge’s request, they would violate United States privacy laws. Furthermore, this is just a minor case. The company does not have a problem in complying with judge’s request but they fear that gaining access to Harris’ tweets will open more ways for prosecutors, as they will also gain access to Harris’ IP address, e-mail address and location information at the time of the incident, which they feel is not right.
“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision and are considering our options,” said a Twitter representative released to news organizations. “Twitter’s Terms of Service have long made it absolutely clear that its users *own* their content. We continue to have a steadfast commitment to our users and their rights.”
Aden Fine, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union is of the view that if the government wants to have access to sensitive and constitutionally protected information, then they should do so by applying for a warrant or by satisfying First Amendment scrutiny needs.
Whatever may be the result of this case going on in the case, the primary concern in this matter remains who actually is the owner of the tweet posted on the Twitter.