Twitter will appeal order to turn over protestor’s messages

Twitter plans to appeal a ruling to turn over the once-public tweets of an Occupy Wall Street protestor charged with disorderly conduct, a case the company says threatens the First Amendment rights of its users.

A New York Criminal Court judge ruled last month that Twitter should turn over the tweets of Malcolm Harris, since his messages were public and are not the same as an email or a private chat, which would require a search warrant.

At Twitter, we are committed to fighting for our users, wrote Ben Lee, Twitter’s legal counsel, on Thursday. Accordingly, we are appealing this decision which, in our view, doesn’t strike the right balance between the rights of our users and the interests of law enforcement.

The social networking site was served with a subpoena on 26 January from prosecutors requesting the information citing section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, which requires service provider to disclose certain kinds of electronic communications without a warrant — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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