ACLU of Massachusetts Makes Statement on Twitter Subpoena Case

March 1, 2012 12:00 am

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BOSTON — After nine weeks of secret court hearings, the Suffolk Superior Court has ordered Twitter, Inc., to comply with a state administrative subpoena issued by the Suffolk District Attorney’s office on December 14, 2011, seeking personally identifying information for an anonymous Twitter user during the period December 8, 2011 to December 13, 2011, for “account or accounts associated with” the name “Guido Fawkes”, “@p0ison0N”, “@OccupyBoston”, as well as information on anyone “associated with” two Twitter hashtags: #d0xcak3 and #BostonPD. Twitter hashtags are essentially key words used to indicate a topic of conversation.

Both the subpoena and the secrecy of various court proceedings have been challenged by the ACLU of Massachusetts, most recently at a hearing this morning.

The following statement may be attributed to Peter Krupp, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts and partner at the law firm of Lurie & Krupp:

“The ACLU challenged the lawfulness of this administrative subpoena and was told by the Superior Court that we did not have standing. As a result of these various proceedings, the Superior Court ordered the documents produced.

“We continue to believe that our client has a constitutional right to speak, and to speak anonymously; and that this administrative subpoena both exceeded the scope of the administrative subpoena statute and infringed our client’s rights under the First Amendment. With the turnover of these documents any subsequent review of these issues will be moot.

“The court has impounded all of the documents in this case except the three-page order requiring Twitter to provide the information, which was apparently released to the press today by someone other than the ACLU, Twitter, or me.”

A copy of the order to Twitter is available here:…

More information about the case is available here:

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