NYPD Battles Twitter

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
NYPD Battles Twitter
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 9:09am

The New York Police Department has demanded that Twitter release the name of a user who threatened an attack "just like in Aurora" on the Broadway theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show is playing.

The NYPD Intelligence Division learned of the threat late Aug. 3 and used Twitter's system for emergencies to request the identity of the account holder, according to police officials.

"Twitter turned us down, so we dispatched police to cover the theater while we sought a subpoena to force Twitter to disclose the identity of the account holder," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in an emailed statement.

NYPD Battles Twitter for Identity of User Promising Violence 'Just like Aurora'- http://news.yahoo.com/nypd-battles-twitter-identity-user-promising-violence-just-144157398--abc-news-topstories.html


Interesting situation!  How do you feel about this? Should Twitter, or any site for that matter, be required to immediately hand over identifying information in situations such as this?  If it were required that you use your real name when posting online, would it change your amount of online participation?

 photo snowsiggy.png

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 9:27am

I personally think anyone dumb enough to post something like what this person posted deserves to have his name released. People have used the internet as a free-for-all to post whatever nasty, mean, rude, crude, stupid, or violent thing that pops into their minds. I do believe that people need to be held accountable for what they say (or type). So, yes, I feel like Web sites should include in their policies that if you use their site to promote violence, racism, hatred, etc. of any kind your identifying information will be released to authorities.

While I like the anonymity of sites such as this one, I don't need it to hide behind. If I had to use my real name, I would. It would however change my participation on some sites. I would stray away from any kind of conversation that involved politics, religion, discipline, education, welfare, and personal responsibilities because I don't care to have my thoughts about these topics available to my employer or any future employers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 9:45am

The federal law is part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in 1986. There are exceptions to the law, Granick said. Exceptions can be made if there's a threat of serious bodily injury or death. But that first decision is up to the provider.

I understand that Twitter has to abide by the laws as well and can't go around doing things that will get them into legal trouble, but the statement above clearly says that exception can be made if there's a threat of serious bodiliy injury or death.....in this case there was - how does that not warrant an exception???

Luckily nothing has come of this user's threat, but Twitter is simply delaying the police in tracking down this individual and determining if these threats hold merrit.  I'm sure since no action has been taken Twitter thinks it was justified in its decision.....but what if the reverse were true and this user had taken action before NYPD was able to get a subponea?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 10:52am
Even physicians, attorneys, therapists and clergy have to report potential dangers. Twitter is public domain, not a diary. I agree Twitter needs to turn it over. It can be protected like any other search warrant requiring a judicial order. I see no controversy here.