Tweet for trouble

Twitter>> Privacy • US/UK

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageIt is a legal victory with ramifications beyond small English town South Tyneside, where the local government claims Twitter released information about the tweeter who allegedly made libellous statements.

The South Tyneside Council petitioned a court in California, US, to identify the user of the site after three councillors and an official complained they were libelled in a blog, Mr Monkey.

Independent councillor Ahmed Khan is suspected of being the author of the blog. Khan, who denies being the author, said Twitter told him in April he had 21 days to lodge a legal argument against the action, otherwise the details would be released. Khan admitted being a critic of the council’s policies but said, “I am the kind of person who will tell you face-to-face what I think. I have no need to use an anonymous blog.”

Mark Stephens, who represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his litigation with the US government, says, “Anyone with the wherewithal can now force Twitter to reveal identities of people who they feel are behind slander.”

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