Twitter has turned over data for one of its subscribers involved in the Occupy movement to the Boston police, who are investigating tweets associated with the hacking of the department’s website last fall.
An administrative subpoena was issued to Twitter in December to turn over the information. The ACLU, representing the subscriber, contested the subpoena in court, but the appeal was shot down by a judge last week.
Twitter’s growing importance as a tool for communication — whether it be for the Arab Spring or for playing a role in Britain’s riots last summer — is increasingly putting it in the crosshairs of the authorities.
"The ACLU challenged the lawfulness of this administrative subpoena and was told by the Superior Court that we did not have standing," said Peter Krupp, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, in astatement. "As a result of these various proceedings, the Superior Court ordered the documents produced."
Twitter spokesman Matt Graves told the Boston Globe that the microblogging site provided subscriber information for "@p0isAn0N," an account associated with the name of Guido Fawkes. The newspaper said Graves declined comment when asked how Twitter responded to the court’s order requiring the company to hand over information linked to hashtags and @OccupyBoston," said the Globe.
"I can confirm that we were ordered to provide account information on a single user, @p0isan0n," he told msnbc.com Friday. "We did not give information on any other account."
The ACLU says the case cannot be challenged any further.
“Twitter’s recent communication with our office gave both parties a clear understanding of what information was relevant to our probe," the spokesman, Jake Wark, said in an email to the Globe. "We requested and received only that information. This is a focused investigation, not a fishing expedition.’’