Dec 292011
 
 December 29, 2011  Business, Court, Featured News, Online, Surveillance, U.S.

Milton J. Valencia reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is fighting on behalf of a blogger with apparent Occupy Boston ties who has been subjected to a subpoena that authorities filed through a social media site.

Peter Krupp, an attorney from Lurie and Krupp LLC, who is working on behalf of the ACLU, said the ACLU has moved to have the subpoena, sent to Twitter, quashed on First Amendment grounds. A hearing has been continued to today in Suffolk Superior Court.

Krupp said the ultimate target of the subpoena is a blogger who calls himself Guido Fawkes, and who goes by the Twitter handle @P0isAn0N. The blogger’s true identity was not immediately known. Krupp said he could not say why Fawkes was targeted by authorities, because court documents were sealed.

Read more on Boston Globe.

It is not known whether any other individuals alluded to in the subpoena have retained legal counsel or are attempting to quash the subpoena.

Disappointingly, Twitter has not responded to repeated requests for clarification as to whether they have tried to limit the scope or deny production of other accounts that may have used hashtags listed in the subpoena. Nor is it known whether they have been notified by any other parties of intent to move to quash the subpoena.

The subpoena gave Twitter 14 days to produce the information. If that was 14 calendar days, that deadline has now passed. What has Twitter done? And why did it take them over one week to notify the parties of the subpoena since there was no seal on it?

PogoWasRight.org was one of a number of privacy-oriented sites and individuals who publicly thanked Twitter and proclaimed them “Company of the Year” in 2010 for its gutsy defense of user privacy in the DOJ/WikiLeaks case. But their failure to be more transparent about their actions in this case when they were not under seal leaves users without any clear sense of how far Twitter will go – or has gone – to protect users’ privacy.

PogoWasRight.org urges Twitter to be more transparent about its response to this matter. The D.A.’s motives behind the subpoena may be confidential, but how social media sites respond to demands for user information is a matter of great public concern.

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