Kudos To Twitter For Not Just Rolling Over When The US Gov't Asked For Info

from the nice-to-see dept

While plenty of companies (*cough* AT&T *cough*), seem to bend over backwards to give the government more info than is required by law, it's nice to see that Twitter was willing to push back a bit. We've already covered the feds demand for info from Twitter concerning various folks associated with Wikileaks, but I wanted to do a separate post pointing out that it appears Twitter stood up and fought for its users' rights, when it could have easily just backed down. The details suggest that the court order was initially issued under seal on December 14th, giving Twitter just three days to hand over the info. Yet, last week, for unclear reasons, the magistrate judge allowed the seal to be removed, at which point Twitter reached out and notified the users, to see if they wanted to use the legal system to fight the demand for info (it appears most, if not all, are planning to do so). Lots of companies don't go nearly that far, so it's worth highlighting that Twitter appears to have gone above and beyond to protect its users' privacy. Of course, it also makes you wonder who else the feds issued similar orders to... and who just handed over the info.
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Filed Under: privacy, wikileaks
Companies: twitter, wikileaks

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  1. icon
    Bas Grasmayer (profile), 10 Jan 2011 @ 7:51pm

    You know what happens when you stand up? You get gagged.

    This thing has been going on for a lot longer. The mistake they made is doing it via DOJ instead of via the FBI. I recently saw a speech by a guy at a hacker conference, who had had a similar request from the FBI, but was gagged. He would not even have been able to inform anyone in his company that he would be giving out information. He protested it, went to court, etc. but before he could win, the FBI withdrew their request, but the gag remained!

    Here is the case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6xsv4azzpc

    "My name is Nicholas Merrill and I was the plaintiff in a legal case in the US court system where I challenged the FBI's policy of using a feature of the so-called USA PATRIOT act - what are called "National Security Letters" - to bypass the American Constitution's system of checks and balances and in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights - in order to obtain protected personal information and to unmask anonymous Internet users. I spent over 6 years not able to speak to anyone (other than my lawyers) about my case - forced to lie to those closest to me due to an FBI gag order that carried a possible 10 year prison sentence for violating it."

    Mike, you really need to see this. As does everyone else. This DOJ subpoena really reminds me of this particular case. It's terrible.

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