Pennsylvania AG Subpoenas Twitter To Identify Bloggers

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett doesn’t like what some Twitter users are tweeting about him.

In fact, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has sent a subpoena that threatens Twitter officials with arrest unless they identify two users that criticize Tom Corbett and his public corruption investigations.

The subpoena demands that Twitter’s custodian of records release “any and all subscriber information” for the accounts bfbarbie and CasablancaPA, including name, address, contact information, creation date, and IP address for the two users.

The two users have been critical of Corbett’s use of grand juries and suggest that he uses investigations for political gain and to go after political adversaries.

Neither user seems phased, as they are still tweeting against the AG and even wearing the subpoena as a badge of honor.

A Twitter representative was summoned to appear before a state grand jury on May 14 to “give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

However, the vague court document does not specifics about what crime(s) are being investigated.

The subpoena was issued on May 6 and states that failure to appear could result in an arrest warrant being issued for contempt of court.

It is not known whether or not Twitter has released the requested information to the court.

Vic Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union stated that the subpoena “raises grave concerns about abuse of the grand jury process to retaliate against political critics and opponents.”

Walczak further stated that US citizens “have a right to criticize government officials and to do so anonymously.”

Last week Corbett won the Republican primary to run for governor of Pennsylvania. He claims that he doesn’t have any problem with people criticizing him on Twitter.

However, he would not discuss the subpoena, saying the investigation stops him from discussing the issue publicly.

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