Pennsylvania AG Tom Corbett Can't Take Anonymous Twitter Criticism; Issues Subpoenas For IDs
from the let-me-introduce-you-to-the-constitution dept
What is it with various state Attorney Generals and their difficulty in understanding the law? And why is it that those same AGs always seem to be running for higher office when they do? We’ve already covered how Andrew Cuomo (who wants to be NY’s governor) appeared to ignore the law in bullying ISPs. And then there’s Richard Blumenthal (who wants to be one of the Senators from Connecticut) who continues to ignore Section 230 safe harbors for Craigslist in grandstanding against the company. Then there was South Carolina’s Harry McMaster (who tried to run for governor), who also ignored Section 230 in threatening to put Craigslist execs in jail.
Now we can add to the list Pennsylvania’s Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate), Tom Corbett, who apparently is so thin-skinned about people criticizing him, that he’s subpoenaed Twitter, demanding it reveal the “name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address” of two anonymous critics who are using both Twitter and Blogger to criticize him.
One would assume that, as Attorney General, Corbett is familiar with the First Amendment. One would also hope that, as Attorney General, Corbett is familiar with the long list of decisions in the caselaw protecting the right of anonymity especially in situations where it involves criticizing a politician. Apparently not. Corbett also appears to be unfamiliar with the basic tenets of The Streisand Effect… and how trying to unmask these critics is only serving to draw significantly more attention to their criticism of him.