SOUTH TYNESIDE COUNCIL has confirmed that the micro-blogging web site Twitter released information about its users for a court case.
A spokesman for the council said, "Twitter have released information to our lawyers and this information is currently being analysed by technical experts."
The court action relates to a number of allegations against council leaders posted on Twitter by five different accounts including one named "Mr Monkey".
The spokesman continued, "The council has a duty of care to its employees and as this blog contains damaging claims about council officers, legal action is being taken to identify those responsible."
A court order obtained by the council meant that Twitter was required to hand over details of the accounts, which included its users' names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.
Twitter recently confirmed that it would be prepared to release its users' details in legal situations if required to do so. This followed Ryan Giggs' name being revealed by 75,000 of its users as the footballer behind a super injunction.
Ahmed Khan, an independent South Shields councillor, is suspected to be the Twitter user "Mr Monkey". He was first contacted by Twitter in April in regards to the court action.
Twitter later informed Khan that he had 21 days to file a legal argument or it would release the account details. He denies being the owner of the "Mr Monkey" account.
The costs of the legal action are not known precisely, but we have been told that "costs are less than 75 thousand pounds". µ