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Penn. AG Corbett Subpoenas Twitter For Bloggers' Names

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the would-like-to-have-in-my-hand-a-list dept.

Privacy 205

Dthief writes with this from Pennsylvania's ABC27 News: "The state attorney general's office has issued a subpoena threatening officials of the social networking service Twitter with arrest unless they reveal the names of two bloggers who have been critical of Attorney General Tom Corbett and his public corruption investigation. Vic Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union told Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV that the court action 'raises grave concerns about abuse of the grand jury process to retaliate against political critics and opponents.' He said Americans 'have a right to criticize government officials and to do so anonymously.'"

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205 comments

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287156)

Seems like they need a great big kick in the democratic ass.

Re:FP (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287328)

Seems like they need a great big kick in the democratic ass.

Isn't free speech allowed unless you're directly threating someone? From the stories I've read this person might be corrupted. Why is he threating with arrests instead of responding to those claims? Unless of course, he is corrupted person.

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287754)

sopssa - have you stopped beating your wife?

Re:FP (4, Informative)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287836)

Isn't free speech allowed unless you're directly threating someone?

Apparently you haven't RTFA or done any other checking.

The particular Twitter ID's in question are linked to an ongoing corruption case against a number of Democrat politicians/operatives, and it's suspected that a defendant in that ongoing case has been tweeting & blogging anonymously about the prosecutor & AG and the investigation itself.

In many courts/proceedings, revealing proceeding-related information or attempting to poison the proceedings outside the courtroom is cause for prosecution and/or contempt-of-court charges.

If this is true and the AG has probable cause to legitimately suspect criminal actions have taken/are taking place, would he not be remiss if he did nothing?

This submission appears to be quite partisan and one-sided, as well as sparse on the facts and context.

Strat

Re:FP (2, Informative)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287962)

I live in PA. Corbett is a corrupt asshole who should spend the rest of his life in jail, and he wants to be Governor. I agree with all of your facts, but guy is still a chicken-fucker.

Re:FP (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288174)

Dear trum4n,
Please contact us with an address at which you can be reached during business hours.
Thank you.

Re:FP (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287978)

But what if the twitterer ISN'T at all connected to the investigation?

What if they are just a person who reads the papers and is pissed off, or who hears rumors from others or whatever?

Does a person lose their right to anonymous speech merely because someone SUSPECTS that they might someone else?

Re:FP (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288200)

But what if the twitterer ISN'T at all connected to the investigation?

What if they are just a person who reads the papers and is pissed off, or who hears rumors from others or whatever?

Does a person lose their right to anonymous speech merely because someone SUSPECTS that they might someone else?

If he can get a subpoena, that means he will have had to have had a judge look at the evidence and decide the facts do, indeed, merit his request.

Does a person have to be tried & convicted before evidence of his crime can be subpoenaed?

That seems a bit backwards, but some people will justify an amazing amount of hypocrisy to defend their ideology & leaders. And, yes, I'd say the same things if the (R) & (D) tags were reversed, as it isn't about the party, just the crime(s). Just as I say that GWB screwed up a lot of stuff and I disagreed with many of his administration's actions and policies.

Strat

Re:FP (2, Interesting)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288528)

You are thinking of a warrant which requires a signature from a judge. It is quite common for lawyers as "officers of the court" to have the power to issue subpeonas on their own. It is also common for prosecutors and Attorneys General especially, to have such power. I'm not familiar with the situation in Pennsylvania but if a court is involved it is probably just a clerical matter that a clerk rubber-stamps.

Re:FP (1, Interesting)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288626)

Free speech does not require a judge's determination. The right to free speech trumps an investigation into leakage. The investigators will just have to find another way. This always pisses off the cops on Law and Order, but it is one of the safeguards built into the American Constitution intended to limit government power.

Re:FP (2, Insightful)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288666)

I'm not sure that this is about free speech. If the blagger, once identified, has nothing to do with the proceedings, nothing will happen to him. If he has then there will be legal consequences. Nothing here that impinges on free speech.

Re:FP (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288448)

Usually this sort of legal nonsense is reserved for nations that have lost their minds. I am not convinced that the government of Pennsylvania is at all sane these days. The right of an attorney general to investigate is clear. The right of that attorney general to involve third parties under threat of arrest is not clear at all. This is perverted law at best.

Re:FP (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288320)

So basically, what you're saying is the corrupt have rights and the honest, whether they reveal corruption within the corruption about the corrupt have no rights whatsoever?

There ain't no foxes in this here chicken coop and we'll sue anyone who says otherwise.

Re:FP (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288154)

Have you tried watching COPS while reciting to yourself "innocent until proven guilty" every time they arrest someone?

America is NOT the land of the free....

Re:FP (1)

_xen (79742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288194)

Isn't free speech allowed unless you're directly threating [sic.] someone?

Nobody is proposing to disallow anyone's free speech here. They just want to know who it was that said it. This is about the constitutionally unprotected right to anonymity.

Serious question... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287190)

That Attorney General, is he a member of the G.N.A.A. ???

Re:Serious question... (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288090)

That Attorney General, is he a member of the G.N.A.A. ???

He's a Republican. Draw your own conclusions. I'm kidding of course, as a Republican he wouldn't dream of being in an association that has anything to do with the letter "N".

The other bit of information that doesn't appear in this summary is that he just won his parties nomination as candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. About this, I am not kidding.

It's a very interesting story, and worth examining. His office just released a statement that he has reason to believe one of the twitter accounts that he's trying to subpoena belongs to the defendant in a case he is prosecuting. He doesn't mention anything about the other account. But since there aren't any threats alleged in these tweets, just a lot of the usual political criticisms and slams, it would seem that his cause of action, if any, would be regarding libel, which would be civil court. Instead, he uses the criminal law enforcement powers of his office to subpoena two twitter accounts, which seems to pretty much violate the First Amendment. His case would seem to question the right of anyone to make an anonymous comment on the Internet, which might be of interest to readers of Slashdot.

He's been accused of using the powers of his office to advance his political career before, and also of corruption and overreaching his constitutional powers in prosecuting a lot of Democrats and a very few Republicans. This incident is some pretty dangerous stuff, though, if you care about free speech.

Carlin (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287198)

In the words of George Carlin "You have no rights"

Re:Carlin (3, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287556)

For all the rhetoric of "free speech" and "liberty", it's amusing that the US government and corporations have the power to circumvent anything so long as you push it through the courts.

Re:Carlin (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287812)

Well obviously. Someone has to decide whether or not things are legal, and that someone is the judicial branch. Of course, they must follow procedure set poorly by the legislature. It's hard to know who's really to blame (just maybe the bloggers themselves have committed a crime) until the details come out.

Re:Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287766)

We (read:American people) are losing our rights daily. In the wake, a socialist, dependent, welfare state, devoid of personal responsibility is being created. All the while, China is slowly loosening the reins. It's economy grows and grows as do its power and international influence. All the while America, seeking pure political, social and religious ecumenism, dies day-by-day.

If it's ever to get better, it must get much, much worse first.

Re:Carlin (-1, Troll)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287822)

George Carlin is a crazy old anarchist stand-up comedian, not someone you should ever take seriously on political philosophy...

Re:Carlin (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287900)

George Carlin is a crazy old anarchist stand-up comedian, not someone you should ever take seriously on political philosophy...

Technically, he's scattered ashes at this point. Which still makes him a better choice to take seriously for political philosophy than any political pundit.

But... (5, Interesting)

cottandr (1017464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287212)

Twitter doesn't store personal details. Even putting a name in your profile name is optional. How can they provide information they don't even collect?

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287254)

They're probably not really expecting to get the names of the bloggers from Twitter. More likely, they're looking for all account data for these accounts (including login source IP addresses), and will follow up with subpoenas issued to their ISPs for their real names.

Soon (3, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287740)

And, given the other story on Slashdot today, he'll soon be able to have his office look up the DNA records of the people once he identifies them.

"Hello, Somebusiness Inc? Hi, this is the Attorney General's office. We're very interested in one of your employees, Mr. X. No sorry can't tell you - it's an active investigation. But you know what's interesting... he's pretty likely to get heart disease, his insurance payments and absences are going to go way up. Oh, and his son has ALS, did you know that? He's probably going to take lots of time off soon to take care of him. Yeah, it's tough to have an employee like him, even without a criminal investigation. Oh, did we say criminal investigation? We weren't supposed to mention it. Oh well, bye"

I wonder if they will subpoena blogspot next? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287930)

At least one [blogspot.com] is quite a blogger.

Re:I wonder if they will subpoena blogspot next? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288416)

As they're dealing with people whose full-time job is to do such things, I'd say the likelihood is high that any service these folks can be linked with might receive some paperwork.

Re:But... I did this too - honestedits (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288322)

I posted anonymously on blogs, twitter and youtube regarding a Canadian incident where the former Attorney General of Ontario was the driver of a vehicle that was involved in the death of a cyclist. Security cameras showed something unpleasant about the ex AG's actions. Anonymity is essential for whistle-blowing at that level.

-honestedits

Re:But... I did this too - honestedits (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288442)

Anonymity is extremely important. On more occasions than I can count, I've espoused the virtues of (pseudo)anonymous communications techniques, coupled with strong encryption. Note that this shouldn't be construed to say I believe people should be absolved of being held accountable for their actions if they do something wrong. I do, however, acknowledge that under certain circumstances (repressive regimes for example) local law may not be in line with what the rest of the planet finds remotely reasonable. Like everything else that involves people, these things require careful consideration and deliberation amongst the citizens affected by them.

Re:But... (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287258)

Twitter doesn't store personal details. Even putting a name in your profile name is optional. How can they provide information they don't even collect?

That's for the courts to decide!

Re:But... (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287336)

Maybe they'll provide the IP address..... not that it really matters. The PA General Attorney is abusing his power by trying to silence bloggers he does not like, in violation of the State Constitution (see below). It's pretty typical of the Rendell administration. His has been the most corrupt of the last twenty years.

.

Freedom of Press and Speech; Libels - "The printing press shall be free to every person who may undertake to examine the proceedings of the Legislature or any branch of government, and no law shall ever by made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

"No conviction shall be had in any prosecution for the publication of papers relating to the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or to any other matter proper for public investigation or information, where the fact that such publication was not maliciously or negligently made shall be established to the satisfaction of the jury; and in all indictments for libels the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases."

Reservation of Powers in People - "To guard against the transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate."

Re:But... (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287358)

Typical of the Rendell administration? Nice spin there- the attorney general is doing this, and he's he republican nominee for governor.

Re:But... (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287454)

>>>the attorney general

Whose boss is "Speedy Gonzalez" Rendell. He is responsible for the actions of his underlings in the Executive Branch. Plus even without this AG story, Rendell's administration has still been corrupt.

*
*That was reference to his speeding on I-83 (twice), and then telling the cops he can't be ticketed because he's the governor. Yeah. Corrupt.

Re:But... (1, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287526)

>>>That was reference to his speeding on I-83 (twice),

Turns out I was wrong. Rendell has been caught speeding *multiple* times. For some reason he thinks he's above the law? :-| QUOTE: "In 2004, state troopers clocked Rendell's trooper-driven car exceeding 100 mph on the turnpike. That made him the butt of David Letterman's list of the "Top Ten Signs Your Governor is Nuts."

"Rendell hasn't hit the brakes" (March 22, 2009)

"His trip speeds between the Harrisburg East and Valley Forge exits, the stretch of the toll road he uses most often, have estimated speeds ranging between 48 and 93 mph...... It found one instance on a Sunday morning when his car averaged an estimated 99 mph traveling between the New Stanton and Warrendale interchanges of the Pennsylvania Turnpike." CONTINUED - http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1237675211322200.xml&coll=1 [pennlive.com]

Re:But... (5, Informative)

Prof.PatPending (1603155) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288184)

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as someone who travels the Turnpike daily, from Philly to Harrisburg, MOST of the folks on the road are going 80-90 MPH! Unless they see a cop by the side of the road, of course.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287572)

>>>the attorney general

Whose boss is "Speedy Gonzalez" Rendell. He is responsible for the actions of his underlings in the Executive Branch.

In Pa the attorney general is elected, unlike the US attorney general. It is an independent department.

Re:But... (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287674)

Attorney general positions don't answer to the governor. They're an independent elected position answering to no one. Rendell is not his boss, and has no say over anything he does. I'm not going to comment on whether or not Rendell has other issues, but pinning anything his AG does on him is pure lies and misdirection.

This is the case in many, if not all states. Which is why the republican AG of a very very democratic state (Washington) is suing over health care reform, which is supported by the governor and majority party..

Your State may vary (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287868)

AGs have different powers and restrictions in different states.

In Wisconsin for example, the very conservative AG has been blocked from joinging the anti-mandate lawsuit by the very liberal Governer and Legislature.

-Rick

Re:But... (2, Funny)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287992)

I'm not going to comment on whether or not Rendell has other issues

...because you're afraid of them finding out who you are?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287768)

His nickname is Fast Eddie. At least get that right.

As other posters have pointed out, the PA AG is completely independent of the PA Governor. In this instance, they are not even of the same party.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287698)

Nice spin there- the attorney general is doing this

Perhaps you missed where GP says "The PA General Attorney is abusing his power by trying to silence bloggers he does not like". GP is wrong about blaming the Rendell admin though, the Constitution of Pennsylvania [state.pa.us] does not say the governor picks the Attorney General.

Falcon

What an.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287226)

Attorney General Tom Corbett as an ass!

Hope he doesn't read /.

Wow. (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287232)

Wow. Way to go authoritarian police state. Let's not even try to hide it anymore.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287320)

That's the beauty of the USA. Our founding fathers had the foresight to make sure the populous was armed so that when the abuses of power started to go too far, the government would fear its citizens, and not the other way around.

However, in this situation, the simple, peaceful, and correct solution is to simply appeal to a higher authority.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287612)

Please, the US has been a mercantile empire from day one, the American Indians found out all about that. Adventurism has continued from that beginning all the way through to today, take a look at what Smedley Butler had to say about it, I mean when you have a father and son as president, how far away from an official aristocracy are you? You couldn't miss the signs, the entrenchment of power ironically made possible by the very freedoms espoused so strongly there, the massive military expenditure, the exclusive clubs for the wealthy in ivy league colleges, etc.

Theres nothing simple, and trying to pin things down as black and white, us and them, usually ends in disaster, but nobody can deny the trend of current events.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287748)

Yes. John Adams and John Quincy Adams sure defined the Presidency as an aristocracy, didn't they? Bastards.

Re:Wow. (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287816)

I dunno, would you say an example from over 150 years ago or one from 2 years ago would be more relevant here?

Re:Wow. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288042)

The existence of two separate father-son presidencies in 150 years suggests that perhaps nothing much has changed in terms of the concentration of political power over that time.

New boss class, old boss class, same boss class?

Re:Wow. (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288340)

This ignores the enormous technological and societal changes that have taken place in the interim. The concentration of power is facilitated by the dual focus of technology and technology-enabled media, along with differences in educational potential which are by this stage inbuilt into the system. Things are not the same now as they were then, far from it. There are solutions to the problem but they require considerable improvements in education and awareness.

Link to subpoena? (5, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287286)

I doubt this is going to work. There's no way a lawyer could write a subpoena in under 140 characters.

Re:Link to subpoena? (4, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287584)

"Vern, a feller gave me this. What does 'subpoena' mean?"

"Well, shoot, Jimbob, all them fancy words is about the Latin. See here, 'Sub' means underneath, and 'poena' is what you call yer, well, yer tacklebox. So what this means is, they got you by the balls."

Re:Link to subpoena? (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287594)

It's simple, really: All your account holder are belong to @TCorbett. You are on your way to #arrest. You have no chance to escape law make your time #hahaha

Re:Link to subpoena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288030)

Maybe he could use twitpic!

Let me be the first say (4, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287288)

Let me be the first say that Tom Corbett is an asshat. He is also the Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania. One has to wonder how much of this is motivated by his candidacy.

Re:Let me be the first say (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287402)

Oooo.... two Republican candidates (Corbett, Paul) have shot themselves in the foot in just the last day. Maybe they're trying to lose on purpose?

"Corbett, who won the Republican nomination for governor Tuesday night, told the television station that he doesn't have any problem with people criticizing him on Twitter. He refused to discuss the nature of the subpoena, however, stating that the investigation prevents him from discussing the matter."

Re:Let me be the first say (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287864)

These are dangerously insane and insular individuals who have just emerged from their cave-like echo chambers long enough to realize that the real world is far more complex than what can be solved by the Bible and maybe 2-3 other books. Their aversion to the benchmark of a good governance, pluralism is severely lacking in both of these individuals to the point where if given the opportunity there is no doubt in mind they would both subvert democracy to implement their hopelessly misinformed ideas of what the government should do.

Re:Let me be the first say (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288552)

Most of their ideas come from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Do you consider him to be a "malformed" person as well?

Re:Let me be the first say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287446)

"One has to wonder how much of this is motivated by his candidacy."

Regardless of the motivation, only a fool would now vote for this asshole, after he has
made it clear he will abuse power.

Hey Tom Corbett : FUCK YOU.

Re:Let me be the first say (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287604)

>>> (Score:3, Insightful)

This bias on this forum is interesting. Kozar says "Tom Corbett is an asshat" and oh yeah he's Republican. He gets modded up. I say that Corbett's acts are typical of the Governor's last several years of corrupt administration..... I get modded down.

+1 for noting a Republican is corrupt
-1 for noting a Democrat is corrupt

Obvious anti-R and pro-D bias on the part of Slashdot moderators.

Re:Let me be the first say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287638)

Obvious anti-R and pro-D bias on the part of Slashdot moderators.

So? We're up front about it. Do you WANT us to be perfectly beige dullards? Would take all the fun out of it, methinks.

Re:Let me be the first say (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287692)

You got modded down for being flat out wrong. The AG is elected and not a part of the governor's administration- he's independent. The governor couldn't make him do anything if he wanted to. You're trying to spin the story and blame the other party, and the mods caught you.

Re:Let me be the first say (2, Informative)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287732)

You get modded down because the AG does not answer to the governor. You are trying to say Asshat Rendell is making Asshat Corbett do things. That is not how the AG of a state works. The AG is elected by the people and not appointed by the governor. AG Corbett is his own man and needs to be held accountable for things he does of his own free will. Unless you have proof that Rendell is forcing Corbett to do things then you are simply blaming Rendell for Corbett's actions.

Re:Let me be the first say (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287750)

>>> (Score:3, Insightful)

This bias on this forum is interesting. Kozar says "Tom Corbett is an asshat" and oh yeah he's Republican. He gets modded up. I say that Corbett's acts are typical of the Governor's last several years of corrupt administration..... I get modded down.

+1 for noting a Republican is corrupt
-1 for noting a Democrat is corrupt

Obvious anti-R and pro-D bias on the part of Slashdot moderators.

Well duh, this is news for nerds, the mods aren't stupid.

Re:Let me be the first say (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287808)

+1: No Shit Sherlock

Slashdot is a den of leftist reprobates.

Re:Let me be the first say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287652)

Yay, now I know who to NOT vote for.

-PA Voter

Join their twitters! (5, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287322)

Here's the two people he's requesting subpoenas for:
http://twitter.com/bfbarbie [twitter.com]
http://twitter.com/CasablancaPA [twitter.com]

Let's see if we can make them go from 300-500 followers to 3,000-5,000.

I can't believe he's making such a huge stink over someone with a few hundred followers.

Re:Join their twitters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287580)

I don't understand what Corbett thinks he is going to accomplish with this as the Streisand effect since the age of Twitter is impossible to stop.

Re:Join their twitters! (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287598)

One of them is up to 600 or so, saying before they had 40 followers.
The other is either blocking followers or twitter has blocked the ability to follow them..

Re:Join their twitters! (3, Insightful)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287686)

I think CasablancaPA only had like 50 followers this morning. Its at 600 now. This could be the greatest thing that has ever happened to their cause.

Jurisdiction? (4, Interesting)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287424)

According to Wikipedia, Twitter is based in California. Why is the attorney general of Pennsylvania threatening Twitter's higher-ups with arrest? There must be something here I don't know.

Re:Jurisdiction? (4, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287654)

Nothing is going to stop PA's AG from issuing an arrest warrant for someone who is out of state. Now, CA may or may not decide to honor any extradition requests (should they be filed) for such warrants, and states have different rules about what they will or won't extradite for in the first place. However, having a warrant out for your arrest anywhere isn't really good for executives' images, and it might be kinda bothersome to have to avoid layovers in Philadelphia every time you fly somewhere on the east cost.

Re:Jurisdiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287662)

The internet is a great way to find people to sue or imprison. It's a boon to blowhards everywhere, but especially ones in government. How could Tom Corbett possibly be an impotent man when he can sue Twitter? How could Italy not be one of the most important countries in the world if they can convict Google employees? You see how it goes.

Re:Jurisdiction? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287672)

He is an idiot.

I'd like to tone it down a bit, but he *can't* arrest them, and he *can't* get all pissy because somebody called him names ON THE INTERNET. Therefore, he is an idiot. I don't even know what he did that they're name-calling over, but in light of his idiocy it's likely he deserves it.

Guess you should sue Slashdot now, huh? That's not fair - I'll give you a hint. I'll be in PA sometime in the next few months... good luck.

Re:Jurisdiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287778)

Issue an immediate APB for anyone skinny, or who anwsers to the name of Jim, or is a snack made of meat of unknown origins.

Re:Jurisdiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288476)

Or is a tool for unlocking doors on older cars.

We know how this is going to end. (5, Insightful)

Giranan (762783) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287438)

Hey, Mr. Corbett? Let me teach you about a little something called the Streisand Effect. [wikipedia.org]
Something tells me you're going to be very well acquainted with it in a day or so.

Re:We know how this is going to end. (1)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287942)

IANAL, but isn't Mr. Corbett himself abusing his office here? And in doing so, isn't he exposing himself to criminal liability?

If so, this might culminate in something much more unpleasant than simply the Streisand Effect.

--
Corbettifect: Prosecution of a corrupt official exposed by the Streisand Effect.

The ACLU moves into the 21st century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287482)

It's nice to see the ACLU FINALLY start dealing with tech issues. After all, it was their stubborn refusal to recognize hi-tech issues which resulted in the creation of the EFF (look up the history of Steve Jackson games and the EFF).

Really Tom? Bloggers hurt your feelings? (5, Informative)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287630)

He is looking for the names of people who have criticized him? Really? Because I am pretty sure that by doing this, half the Internet will be speaking poorly of him. And I for one, am drinking the cool-aid.

Fuck Attorney General Tom Corbett and his public corruption investigation. Fuck him in his stupid ass. He is fucking clown shoes.

Come get me Tom. I dare you.

Re:Really Tom? Bloggers hurt your feelings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288094)

fucktomcorbitt.com is available.

Re:Really Tom? Bloggers hurt your feelings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288702)

I'm a Republican voter in PA. I won't be voting for Corbett because of this. I hate the Rendell administration something fierce, but Corbett's actions are just stupid. Way to lose young conservatives, asshole. Not only because of the freedom of speech aspect, but even if somehow, somewhere he is correct according to some obscure reading of the law, the fact that he went after bloggers with the same powers granted to him as AG for other purposes at a minimum indicates poor decision making skills and a case of being a micromanager/control freak regarding his public image.

PA unfortunately has a history of being behind the times, even a history of this. A number of years ago, the state AG, also a Republican, had a list of sites he wanted blocked. Of course, no one independent could review the list to make sure legit sites weren't also being blocked.

(We also have a history of some asshole judge, I think now retired, throwing people in jail for missing jury duty. Also a conservative.)

*sigh* Every party has their stupid politicians, the Dems have plenty, but damn man, what the HELL are you doing? Somewhere on your prosecutional discretion list should be "abuse of power?" and "conflict of interest?"--could have saved you from looking, scratch that, being a fool.

Missing but pertinent data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32287756)

What the original article fails to point out is that the AG is already pretty certain of the person behind the twitter account, he's a former aide who was convicted on corruption charges and is now facing sentencing.

The AG's office is trying to identify the twitterer to show that the former aide is attempting to pass blame off on others, most likely in the hope that he'll recieve a reduced sentence.

Don't get all anti government here (just yet)!! (5, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287776)

If there is reasonable suspicion to believe that grand jury proceedings are being UNLAWFULLY disclosed to the public via the twitterers, then the Attorney General is merely doing his duty. Secrecy of grand jury proceedings is absolutely vital to provide fairness to the targets and to the witnesses. Reputations can be destroyed by a leak of grand jury information. The movie 'Absence of Malice' is a good illustration of how the grand jury process can be abused by illegal leakages and result in damage to innocent people.

On the other hand, the secrecy of the grand jury process gives the prosecuting attorney ENORMOUS power that can be abused by bad men or women.

Before I jump on the "enemy of freedom" bandwagon, I'd need to see the tweets. If it looks like they have an 'inside man' in the grand jury room, then I am totally on the side of the Attorney General. On the other hand, if they're just complaining about his behavior based upon what witnesses have reported about their own testimony (that's legal), then you can count me in among the haters.

There's just not enough information available yet.

I do hope Twitter moves to quash the subpoena. That way the Judge overseeing the grand jury proceedings will have to examine the prosecuting attorney's actions. If twitter caves in, then nothing is private on that website.

Re:Don't get all anti government here (just yet)!! (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288350)

Thank you, you point out a very good point. There is not yet enough information to determine if the AG is trying to suppress criticism or if he is legitimately going after someone trying to poison the grand jury process. Either could be the case based on the information currently available. So far, I see a bunch of people jumping to conclusions that Tom Corbett is in the wrong and a few people saying, "Wait a minute, let's wait to see the rest of the story before we reach a conclusion." The latter is the closest anybody is coming to defending Tom Corbett, as it should be based on the info so far available, although the people condemning him should be a little more circumspect until the facts all come out.

Jursidiction (1)

mgessner (46612) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287794)

IANAL, so how does the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania subpoena someone who's not a resident? Can't he just give them a raspberry and tell the to fsck off?

America, land of the free! (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32287798)

just don't say anything critical of a public offical, make a joke about someones race or gender (unless they are a white male, then it's fine), fly with your laptop or shoes, be part of a muslim group, photograph a public building or dare to say the word fuck on tv.

I am bfbarbie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288006)

I am bfbarbie!

Re:I am bfbarbie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288454)

Me too and so's my wife!

Attorney General Tom Corbett: (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288056)

There is no better way to dissuade people from being critical of a public corruption investigation than to be publicly corrupt. ...Or does it mean that no investigation is really needed now?

I am CasablancaPA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288060)

I am CasablancaPA!

Anonymity (3, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32288570)

Americans 'have a right to criticize government officials and to do so anonymously.'

Do they? We have a right to free speech. Where are we given a right to anonymity?

Tom Corbett is stalins bed buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32288696)

I couldn't think of a more appropriate venue for Tom Corbett to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt he is a scum of the earth asshat than to attempt to silence his online critics.

Please hurry back back to North Korea... Kim jumble ill misses U.

-AC

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