Twitter Fights Back

I posted this piece on April 25, about a motion to quash filed by an Occupy Wall Street protester who was trying to block a subpoena for certain of his tweets that the prosecution claimed it needed to bolster its disorderly conduct case against the protester. The court denied the motion to quash, in part because it found that the protester lacked standing, since, according to the court, he lacked any proprietary or privacy interest in the material. Now Twitter has joined the fight, with its own motion to quash. Twitter makes two points – first, that according to its own terms of service, users “retain [their] rights to any Content [they] submit, post or display.” So the court’s finding that the protester lacked an interest in the content is simply not accurate. Twitter’s other argument is that by denying the user the ability to challenge the subpoena, it shifts that burden to Twitter. And given the sheer volume of Twitter users, that means Twitter would likely be fighting these battles every day under the court’s theory. Twitter’s brief makes for compelling reading. We’ll need to wait for a decision from the judge to determine if it was effective.