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Twitter must hand over Occupy Wall Street protester's tweets, says judge

A New York City judge said Twitter must hand over an Occupy Wall Street protester's tweets or face civil contempt charges.

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A New York City judge said on September 11, 2012, that Twitter must hand over tweets of an Occupy Wall Street protester or face civil contempt charges. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

A New York City judge has given Twitter a deadline to hand over tweets from an Occupy Wall Street protester by Friday or face civil contempt charges and an hefty fine, according to Reuters.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino told Twitter that it had already had 73 days to comply with his June 30 ruling to hand over three months of tweets from Malcolm Harris, Reuters noted.

"I can’t put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily," Sciarrino said, according to Bloomberg. Twitter was ordered to hand over tweets from Sept. 15 to Dec. 30 from Harris' account "@destructuremal," by a subpoena form Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and again by Sciarrino's June 30 ruling.

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Harris was arrested on Oct. 1 on the Brooklyn Bridge, along with 700 other protesters.

The appeals court said Twitter cannot stall the criminal case against Harris by not complying to the district attorney's request, according to The New York Post.

The issue revolves around Harris' defense being that police led the march onto the roadway before they arrested people for disorderly conduct, Reuters said. Prosecutors want the tweets from the aforementioned period because they believe the tweets would show that Harris knew police told protesters not to walk on the road.

The judge gave Twitter's lawyer until the end of the day on Tuesday to file a brief in opposition to the contempt order the prosecutors sought, Reuters said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120911/twitter-must-hand-over-occupy-wall-street-protes