Twitter 'will inform users of legal action', says European boss

Twitter 'will inform users of legal action', says European boss

Summary: Twitter's European boss has stated, that as it has done before, will inform users of any legal action taken against them -- but users will be on their own in court.

SHARE:
3

Twitter's European boss, Tony Wang, who only recently arrived in London to set up shop in the British capital, has warned that users who break privacy injunctions by means of the site, could face contempt of court charges.

Although he said Twitter would hand over data and information to law enforcement and authorities when they were "legally required to do so", Twitter will notify account holders wherever possible in a bid to assist users in protecting themselves.

He followed, however, by stating that Twitter users would "be on their own" in court.

This move, unlike Facebook which has been criticised before by 'overzealously' handing over data to authorities, should be positively received by Twitter users.

Super-injunctions have been a hot topic in the United Kingdom, as these 'gagging orders' effectively prevents any British citizen from disclosing something which they are not party to in the first place.

This week, freedom of information campaigner and British MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege (a sort of domestic legal immunity) to name soccer player Ryan Giggs as the one who brought out a super-injunction to prevent the disclosure of his affair with an ex-Big Brother contestant, Imogen Thomas.

But Twitter users took to the site to protest and the name was widely publicised -- reaching 'trending topic status' in many parts of the world for prolonged periods of time.

Many newspapers and broadcasters have been holding their tongues to prevent the leaking of the soccer player's name, with the BBC taking the first jump to name him formally, shortly after Hemming named him in the lower chamber in Parliament.

Twitter has shown true 'customer care' by informing users that they have had their details and information requested before.

Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir, along with 600,000 other @wikileaks followers, had their information collected by a US Department of Justice subpoena at the start of this year, in a bid to assist the ongoing investigation into potential criminal activity by Wikileaks and its members.

Twitter informed Jónsdóttir that her information had been requested; a precursor to today's announcement.

Related content:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is Twitter leading in 'customer care'?

    Would you break a super-injunction (or have you) by retweeting the name of Ryan Giggs before it was announced in Parliament? Do you think users should be gagged from saying something they are not party to in the first place? And has Twitter done the right thing by announcing that they will inform users of any legal action taken against them? <b>Have your say.</b>
    zwhittaker
  • RE: Twitter 'will inform users of legal action', says European boss

    So my question to Twitter would be if there was an uprising, in say a Middle Eastern country and the perpetrators had used Twitter to orchestrate it, would they hand their details to the authorities of a brutal regime?
    Is this going to become selective censorship by social media sites?
    marti_b
  • RE: Twitter 'will inform users of legal action', says European boss

    "Twitter would hand over data and information to law enforcement and authorities when they were ?legally required to do so?, "

    So, following the law is a problem...
    bb_apptix