06 September 2012

Tweet Pleadings

'Occupy Wall Street Protester's Petition to Overturn Court Orders Requiring Twitter to Turn Over Tweets, Location Data & Other Information' - a pleading by US legal practitioner Emily M. Bass - offers a perspective on her representation of Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris, whose prosecution was highlighted in this blog.

Bass comments that -
Malcolm Harris was one of 700 people arrested during a peaceful protest march in support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. He was charged with one count of disorderly conduct for having blocked traffic. Allegedly in preparation for trial, the prosecutor served three subpoenas on Twitter Inc. for 3 1/2 months of information from Harris' social networking account. The D.A. sought two types of information: the contents of Petitioner's electronic communications (e.g., "tweets") and "location" information for the 3 1/2 month period. 
Petitioner moved to quash the subpoenas as violative of the First and Fourth Amendments, the New York Constitution, the Criminal Procedure Law and common law. After the Court held that Petitioner lacked standing to object to the subpoenas because they had been served on Twitter, Twitter moved to quash. The Court then rejected Twitter's challenges and upheld the subpoenas under the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701 et seq. 
On August 20, 2012, Malcolm Harris commenced an Article 78 proceeding to overturn the Court's rulings. Twitter took a direct appeal on August 27, 2012. 
This is the Article 78 Petition I prepared on behalf of the #OWS protester and filed in the first proceeding. It raises and addresses significant constitutional, intellectual property, privacy, statutory and common law issues. 
For those who are interested in cutting-edge technology and cutting-edge law.