1st Amendment News

Federal appeals court upholds secrecy in Twitter case

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government did not have to reveal its reasons for seeking Twitter-user account information. The ruling came in the government case against WikiLeaks wherein the government is seeking the records of three Twitter users.

“The government should not be able to get private information like this without getting a warrant and also satisfying the standard required by the First Amendment, and it shouldn’t be able to do so in secret except in unusual circumstances,” said Aden Fine, the ACLU attorney. (American Civil Liberties Union, January 25, 2013)

The Court wrote, “[The] government’s interests in maintaining secrecy of its investigation, preventing potential subjects from being tipped off, or altering behavior to thwart the government’s ongoing investigation, outweighed” the claims of users. (Associated Press, January 25, 2013)

The decision: www.aclu.org/files/assets/4th_cir._twitter_order.pdf

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