Published on April 23rd, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Judge Rules DA Can Subpoena Protester’s ‘Occupy’ Tweets, User Information
An “occupier” who was arrested during the first spate of Occupy Wall Street protests in New York last fall has lost a motion to suppress tweets he sent relating to his activities around the time of his arrest, a judge in New York City has ruled.
23-year-old Malcolm Harris is a freelance writer and editor who was taken into custody during mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge in October. During the early winter of 2012, Harris received a notice that his publicly sent tweets between September 15th of 2011 and December 15th of 2011 were being subpoenaed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, as well as “user information, including email address.”
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. wrote in a decision handed down Friday that “there is, in fact, reasonable grounds to believe the information sought was relevant and material to this investigation.” Lawyers for Harris initially argued that the tweets were sent over a time period that was “unreasonably broad,” and that the accompanying user information sought had larger implications in respect to Twitter users overall.
The charge against Harris is not criminal, and he faces a hearing in June for the Occupy arrest.