Twitter to appeal order to hand over Occupy protester's data

The company is pushing back against a New York court order to hand over user information and tweets by an Occupy Wall Street protester, in a case seen as a test of privacy and free speech
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Twitter plans to appeal a New York court ruling that ordered the social media company to hand over posts and details of an Occupy Wall Street protester to police.

Twitter is to appeal a ruling by a New York that it should hand over details of a user.

Earlier in July, Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr ordered Twitter to provide user information and three months of posts made by Malcolm Harris, who was arrested at an Occupy Wall Street protest on Brooklyn Bridge in October.

The decision upheld a subpoena sent to Twitter in May by the New York district attorney's office, which Twitter challenged on the grounds that Harris and not the company retained the rights to his tweets.

On Thursday, Twitter legal counsel Ben Lee said the company will appeal the ruling handed down by Sciarrino.

"We're appealing the Harris decision," Lee said in a tweet. "It doesn't strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement."

The case is seen by US civil liberties campaigners as a test of US free speech and privacy rights on the internet. In his original ruling, Scarrino said: "If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out of a window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy."

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