Will Twitter Defend User Rights?

From challenges over WikiLeaks to Anonymous, Twitter has established a record of standing up for its users' rights. Now the sites is facing new censorship efforts from Homeland Security.

What's the Latest Development?

Last week saw two attempts to block certain Twitter accounts in the name of national security. One challenge came from Senator Joseph Lieberman, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, who is leading an effort to block pro-Taliban accounts and messages. The other came from the Israeli law center Shurat HaDin who is threatening to sue Twitter unless it blocks the accounts of Hezbollah. Will Twitter protect users' right to free speech against targeted government censorship? 

What's the Big Idea?

In the past, Twitter has amassed a solid record of defending the privacy of its users. Last January, when the Department of Justice ordered the site to turn over information on its users with ties to WikiLeaks, including private messages, Twitter complied but successfully challenged the government's gag order. The site reacted in similar fashion last week when Boston prosecutors wanted information on its users allegedly involved in Anonymous hacking operations: Twitter informed the users of the data hand off.

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