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Twitter Hands Over Occupy Messages

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Posted on Sep 15, 2012
LianaAn (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Occupy protesters march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Twitter has bowed to threats of substantial fines and released messages sent by Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris relating to the arrest of roughly 700 people at a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge in October 2011.

Harris has said police encouraged protesters onto the bridge to make it easier to arrest them. The NYPD maintains demonstrators were commanded not to cross the bridge.

Twitter had refused to hand over the messages for months, saying that doing so would undermine privacy laws and its commitment to its users.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

BBC:

As the large number of messages are no longer available online, the Manhattan district attorney took legal action to win access to Mr Harris’ account and three months’ worth of messages.

Mr Harris was one of about 700 protesters arrested during demonstrations in New York in October 2011. The protests spilled on to the Brooklyn Bridge and Mr Harris claims that police action prompted protesters to move on to the bridge so they could then be arrested for obstructing traffic.

Twitter has now surrendered the messages to the court where the trial is taking place, but they will remain uninspected while an appeal lodged by Mr Harris’ lawyer is heard. A hearing on the appeal is due to be heard within seven days.

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