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Advocates Slam AG's Attempt to Identify Web Posters

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

May 25, 2010

Efforts by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office to subpoena Twitter to determine whether a former legislative aide was the anonymous writer behind Internet postings about a court case have come under fire from privacy advocates, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Prosecutors withdrew the subpoena, the report states, but advocates continue to denounce it as an invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo is pointing to the potential "chilling effect" of such posts on witnesses and jury members, suggesting, "This whole realm of the law is going to have to be something that gets ultimately addressed by our courts and our legislature." On the federal level, calls are going out to revise the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
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