Last month it was Google that revealed an “alarming” jump in government requests for search results censorship, including a 49 per cent rise in government of India requests.
This month the U.S. justice system showed that Twitter users challenging state power would not be spared from intrusive scrutiny either, as a Manhattan Criminal Court judge ruled that the micro-blogging site had to hand over to the authorities the tweets of an Occupy Movement protester.
Upholding the validity of a subpoena on the messages posted by Malcolm Harris (23), Judge Matthew Sciarrino, Jr. said in an order this week he intended to review approximately three months’ worth of tweets by Mr. Harris and would pass “relevant portions” on to prosecutors.
Twitter, which invoked the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution for the protection of its users’ freedom of speech and privacy respectively, won praise from the Manhattan District Attorney for its attempt to fend off the legal challenge.
Yet ruling on the case of Mr. Harris, Judge Sciarrino held that Mr. Harris had “no reasonable expectation of privacy for tweets”.