Twitter is staring down the barrel of a contempt charge to proctect one of its users (and by implication all its users). This is one of the places the 4th Ammendment protections gainst unreasonable searches and seizures is rubbing up against modern cloud based technologies and social media.
Twitter is being asked to supply the D.A.’s office with more than three months’ worth of tweets and other data from Harris’s account. The information, which includes some non-public information like IP addresses and possibly location data, is being sought to counter the protestor’s version of events as they unfolded on October 1, 2011. It was on that day that police arrested hundreds of demonstrators as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. Harris and other protestors claim that police led the marchers onto the bridge before arresting them, an assertion that prosecutors hope to counter using Harris’s own tweets.