"Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not."— Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


There was a hearing this morning on a motion to quash a subpoena issued to Twitter by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.  The subpoena seeks the tweets of a single  Occupy Wall Street protester who was arrested during the Brooklyn Bridge protest on October 1st. The Manhattan DA's subpoena asks for 30 days of tweets for the period before and after the arrest. This is the only subpoena issued to Twitter for tweets by any of the 900 protesters in the largest mass arrest in New York history. Why pick on this one guy?  Apparently, it is because while he was waiting in the police van, wondering where he was going and when he would be released, he tweeted the following:  "Help!  I am being kidnapped by armed thugs."  Someone in the NYPD has very thin skin.

The Manhattan DA had filed a response to NLG lawyer Marty Stolar's motion arguing that neither Stolar, nor his client, had standing to object to the subpoena since it only sought public tweets, The big question of the day came from New York County Criminal Court judge Neil Ross who asked the prosecutor "where is Twitter?"  This resulted in a mild burst of applause by the OWS defendants, and a moderate burst of anger from the courtroom  deputies, who told everyone to be quite or they would be removed from the courtroom. The no applause order was immediately met with a loud burst of applause from a very large man in the back row.  He was quickly escorted out of the courtroom.  This commotion was immediately followed by a woman who stood up and thanked Judge Ross for asking the  question "where is Twitter?"  She was quickly escorted out of  the courtroom

Getting back to the business at hand, Judge Ross asked, in mild amazement, why there wasn't a lawyer present to represent a corporation that was a party to a contested subpoena? Mr. Stolar informed the court that Twitter does not take a position on motions to quash subpoenas for information about customer accounts. Twitter apparently doesn't care who is able to rummage around in your tweets and clearly doesn't care what happens to your tweets after they have been tweeted.  

Kettled Occupy Wall Street Protestors Being Squeezed, Like a Tube of Tooth Past into Waiting Trucks

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