Another subpoena to Twitter for Occupy related account

UPDATE: Read the full text of the subpoena here.

Twitter today informed user @destructuremal that the State of New York had issued a subpoena for his account information. The account holder, Malcolm Harris of New York City, is an Occupy Wall Street activist who has been involved in movement organizing since at least September 2011.

As you can see, the subpoena asks Twitter to present to a criminal court on February 8, 2012 at 9 am any email addresses associated with and all tweets from his account posted for the period between September 15, 2011 and December 31, 2011. 

According to Harris' Twitter feed, he thinks the subpoena is related to a disorderly conduct charge he is facing after being arrested at the notorious Brooklyn Bridge indcident, during which police trapped and then arrested hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators on the bridge. 

What does Twitter know about Mr. Harris that could be relevant to the Brooklyn Bridge incident that the police and prosecutors couldn't find out by simply searching for his tweets using a public source like Topsy.com? Likely nothing. It's therefore possible that this subpoena is one step towards attempting to gain access to Mr. Harris' private email account. Will another subpoena, to his email provider, come next?

Stay tuned for more on this case.

UPDATE II: The subpoena demands that Twitter not disclose its existence to the subject, Malcolm Harris. Thankfully, Twitter did not obey this gag request. Stay tuned for a fuller legal analysis of whether the gag request was improper, and what we can do about this problem.

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