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Twitter complies with court order, turns over abusive user's data to NYPD

After refusing because tweets did not meet criteria for disclosure
Wed Aug 08 2012, 17:26
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MICROBLOGGING WEB SITE Twitter has complied with a court order to hand over the personal data of a Twitter user who threatened to go on a murder rampage last week.

The subpoena came after Twitter initially refused to hand over information associated with the account @obamasmistress to the New York Police Department (NYPD) because, according to the firm, his violent tweets did not meet its criteria for disclosure.

"While we do invoke emergency-disclosure procedures when it appears that a threat is present, specific and immediate," Twitter told the NYPD, "This does not appear to fall under those strict parameters as per our policies."

@obamasmistress posted a number of aggressive and manacing tweets, threatening attacks on a Broadway theatre as well as various celebrities such as ex-boxer Mike Tyson, who is presently performing in a Broadway show.

The tweets included, "I'm serious, people are gonna [sic] die like Aurora", and, "gosh I'm still making this hit list damn i wanna kill a lot of people".

An NYPD spokesman Paul Brown told the New York Times that investigators disagreed with Twitter's decision to withhold the information and as a result, asked the Manhattan district attorney's office to obtain a subpoena, which was served on Twitter on Monday.

"We felt that a threat involving an identified location in the heart of the theatre district merited immediate cooperation," Brown said.

Twitter then had no chocie but to comply with the court's request and the user's profile can no longer be found on the web site. However, the police have not yet said whether they have made an arrest as a result of receiving the information. µ


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