While the Occupy Wall Street protests have cooled down the past several months, the legal issues involved with them have heated up. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Manhattan judge recently ruled that Twitter has to turn over several months of an Occupy Wall Street protester’s tweets. The tweets may be utilized against the protestor at trial.
In April, the judge in the Occupy Wall Street protestor's case ruled that the protestor does not have the right to quash a subpoena for public tweets. At that time, I stated that, "I generally agree with the main point of this decision (that the protestor doesn't have the right to quash the subpoena) that public Tweets are fair game,"
If the Tweets had been on a protected Twitter account then a warrant may have been required to access the Tweets. In general, I have no problem with law enforcement obtaining and utilizing social media evidence. However, the government must go through the proper legal channels to obtain, authenticate, and utilize social media evidence at trial.
To learn how social media intersects with the law you may contact me at http://shearlaw.com/attorney_profile.
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