This article is a prime example of what law enforcement and intelligence agencies will do to you if they think they can get away with it. This is precisely why we need to hold their feet to the fire every step of the way and defend the Bill of Rights at all costs. The more you look under the surface, the more it becomes clear that our government considers anyone that protests the oligarchy to be their enemy. This was made clear when we discovered that The FBI Classifies Peaceful American Protestors as “Terrorists.”
From the always excellent EFF:
Last month the San Francisco District Attorney’s office went on a fishing expedition. After EFF and ACLU got involved, the DA wisely cut bait.
The fishing expedition cut short by the DA last week consisted of a pair of subpoenas issued to Twitter, seeking tweets, photos, and a trove of other information related to the accounts of two activists, Robert Donohoe and Lauren Smith, whom the SF DA has charged with a number of offenses stemming from a Columbus Day anti-capitalist protest.
Not only did the subpoenas to Twitter violate federal law (the Stored Communications Act makes clear that the government cannot use a subpoena to gain access to the content of communications), but they violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution as well. Government surveillance of what we say—even in public—has a chilling effect on speech. That is why courts have held that any effort to compel the disclosure of a person’s communications or associations must be narrowly tailored.
The subpoenas issued in this case were anything but narrow. Not only did the requests seek Donohoe and Smith’s own tweets, but also all communications by any Twitter user (presumably including both tweets and private Direct Messages) that even mentioned them.
While we appreciate the San Francisco District Attorney’s decision to withdraw these unconstitutional subpoenas, we are deeply concerned that they were issued in the first place. It seems that throughout the country, law enforcement is subpoenaing this information almost routinely in connection with criminal investigations.
Full article here.