"That’s exactly what Twitter did when it filed a surprisingly feisty motion
(.pdf) this week in New York City Criminal Court to quash a court order
demanding that it hand over information to law enforcement about one of
its account holders — an activist who participated in the Occupy Wall Street
protests — as well as tweets that he allegedly posted to the account
over a three-month period. The company stepped in with the motion after
the account holder lost his own bid to quash the order.
In its motion to quash, Twitter pointed out to the judge that the
order would essentially force the company to break the law by handing
over data without a warrant. Twitter also took issue with the judge’s
ruling that the account holder had no right to fight the order on his
The company further dinged prosecutors by pointing out that they
could have saved everyone the trouble of dealing with this in court if
they had simply printed or downloaded the publicly available tweets
'To the extent the desired content is publicly available, the
District Attorney could presumably have an investigator print or
download it without further burdening Twitter or the Court,' Twitter
wrote in its motion."
This is nice to see. Twitter stands against the over-reach of our justice system. They didn't have to do that. But perhaps they also see the danger when our justice system goes haywire, that it could eventually go after them as a company as well.