[Jonas Surrey, Legal Affairs Contributor]
MailOnline: The social networking site, Twitter, which has more than 175 million users, has been forced by a California court to give up the personal information tweets of a British politician, Ahmed Khan, after a British local authority started an international court case complaining of libel perpetrated by the politician. The judgment by the California court has started off a huge row in the USA concerning privacy and freedom of speech.
The local authority, South Tyneside Council, is reported to have spent more than £100,000 on the case which intends to bring to justice the author of a blog who goes by the name of Mr. Monkey, which is believed to be the blog of Mr. Khan.
Mr. Khan has refuted the allegations and is reported to be angry with Twitter for having disclosed his details. MailOnline reports him as saying: “This is Orwellian. It is like something out of 1984..if a council can take this kind of action against one of its own councillors simply because they don’t like what I say, what hope is there for freedom of speech or privacy…I was never even told they were taking this case to court in California. The first I heard was when Twitter contacted me…I had just 14 days to defend the case and I was expected to fly 6,000 miles to hire my own lawyer – all at my expense”.
- Council takes Twitter to US court (bbc.co.uk)
- British Councilman Waives Protest Rights, Says Twitter Released Personal Data (wiredpen.com)
- British Councilman Waives Protest Rights, Says Twitter Released Personal Data (themoderatevoice.com)
- Twits on Twitter: who’s the monkey now? (politics.ie)
- Twitter cases show PR may be better than legal action (benlowndes.wordpress.com)
- Twitter, Gag Orders and The British Press (wiredpen.com)
- A UK City Council Orders Twitter To Hand Over Politician’s Accounts (inquisitr.com)
- Could Freedom of Speech Be Over After Privacy Injunction Names Appeared On Twitter? (femaleimagination.wordpress.com)
- Twitter users and the courts go to war over footballer’s injunction (guardian.co.uk)
- Footballer sparks Twitter storm (bbc.co.uk)