- Twitter asked to hand over tweets from Malcolm Harris
- Social network refuses, saying tweeter owns tweets
- The Queen announces more power to police internet
TWITTER has supported one of its users by rejecting a court order asking them to hand over the user's tweets as evidence.
Malcolm Harris, editor of cultural website The New Inquiry, is being prosecuted in the US for disorderly conduct during the Occupy Brooklyn Bridge protest last October.
The district attorney’s office in Manhattan sent the subpoena to Twitter asking for Mr Harris’ email address and tweets posted by @destructuremal from September 15, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
Twitter refused and argued the company’s Terms of Service "make absolutely clear that its users own their content".
"Twitter has an evolving set of rules for how ecosystem partners can interact with your content,” states Twitter of its Terms of Service.
“These rules exist to enable an open ecosystem with your rights in mind. But what’s yours is yours - you own your Content (and your photos are part of that Content)."
Despite having the support from Twitter, the court found Mr Harris did not have legal “standing” to challenge the DA’s subpoena.
However, The American Civil Liberties Union said Twitter should be applauded for their support.
“It is so important to encourage those companies that we all increasingly rely on to do what they can to protect their customers’ free speech and privacy rights
“We hope that other companies will do the same thing. Our free speech rights may depend on it.”
The news comes as The Queen formally announced plans to increase surveillance of the internet by intelligence agencies and the police in the UK.
She said the government would introduce new measures for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access “vital communications data under strict safeguards to protect the public”, the UK Telegraph reports.
Last month news.com.au reported Google's new cloud service "Drive" could allow US law enforcement agencies to access your data, without your knowledge and without the need for a warrant.