THE ATTORNEY GENERAL for the state of Pennsylvania has issued a subpoena to Twitter and asked it to appear as a grand jury witness.
At issue are the identities of the holders of two Twitter accounts, @bfarbie and @CasaBlancaPA, that have been the source of a number of critical comments about the man.
In his subpoena, Corbett has requested that the micro-blogging service appear as a witness to "testify and give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania". It will also be required to provide, "name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address".
Should Twitter decide not to take physical form and turn up in court, it is running the risk of arrest for contempt of court. However, it is too early to say how this will end up.
According to a report at Techcrunch, Timothy Yip, Legal Counsel for Twitter, had this to say: "We protect and do not disclose user information except in limited circumstances. We notify a user, if we believe we are allowed to by law, when we receive any request for their information that we may be required to comply with. This policy is designed for maximum transparency and gives users an opportunity to object." Open it might be, but it's certainly unclear.
In Oregon, privacy is also high on the agenda, as three lawyers have filed a class action suit against Google and its Street View vehicles, which we now know were cruising around sniffing up wireless data.
Google executives have admitted that its survey cars mistakenly acquired information during the creation of its updated mapping tools. However, it looks like this candour could cost it dearly, and not just in terms of its reputation.
The Oregon lawyers are asking for damages of up to $10,000 per violation and have two plaintiffs backing them up.
German data controllers want Google to hand over hard drives containing the collected data, and the country's data watchdog has given it until Wednesday to comply.
In Germany illegal data-gathering carries a two-year prison sentence or a fine.
Google has other things on its plate though, not least of all internal discussions over the use of face recognition technology. We don't work for Google, and we are not its legal counsel, but this sounds like dangerous ground to us.
According to the Financial Times, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has admitted that recent privacy knocks have caused the firm's management team to take a good look at how it does things and launches technology, such as Google Buzz, for example.
One of the areas getting a lot of discussion at the firm concerns face recognition tools, of which Schmidt said, "Facial recognition is a good example... anything we did in that area would be highly, highly planned, discussed and reviewed. When you go through these things, you review your management procedures."
One country that knows how to tackle online things that it doesn't like is Pakistan, which this week issued a ban on the social notworking website Facebook.
Pakistani officials imposed the ban after the Islamic Lawyers Movement complained that a page called "Draw Mohammed Day" is blasphemous. Wikipedia and Youtube have also been fingered.
We are saying nothing further about this. µ
Rare protest is blocked at the source (code)
Galaxy Fold... more like Galaxy F***ed
And the nostril-facing webcam has been replaced
No port in a publicity storm