On Monday, May 8, Twitter filed a motion to quash the court order requiring them to hand over information involving Twitter user Malcolm Harris. Harris, the senior editor of The New Inquiry, is one of hundreds of people being prosecuted for disorderly conduct regarding the Occupy Wall Street protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1.
Twitter has always asserted that it’s users own the content they post. Thus, Twitter claims that they are in no position to hand over Harris’ user information, especially without a search warrant.
Yes we all know our right to free speech is not absolute. We know we can’t falsely yell “fire!” in a crowded movie theater — a classic example. But, on a daily regime, we still possess the right to communicate freely with whoever we please about whatever we desire, whether is be at the local coffee shop or via the Internet. Our right to freely express ourselves is a right so deeply embedded in American history. Moreover, it is a right highly deserving of protection.
As Aden Fine reported for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “If Internet users cannot protect their own constitutional rights, the only hope is that Internet companies do so.” So, kudos to Twitter!
A company that takes the time to stand up for it’s users’ rights is certainly a company worth embracing.
Check out Twitter’s motion to quash below:
Image: Wikimedia Commons / David Shankbone