A Twitter spokesperson has said that the company will attempt to contact its users before handing over their personal information to law enforcement accusing them of breaching the super-injunction gag order that’s swept the UK these past two weeks.
The super-injunction scandal began when a Twitter account blasted six tweets naming celebrities who have taken out super-injunctions against the press to prevent reports of affairs, harassment and other unsavory actions. Less than two weeks after the scandal broke, an “unnamed” Welsh footballer sued Twitter to obtain the identity of those who breached his gagging order – which could potentially amount to hundreds or thousands of Twitter users, as many retweeted the original tweet naming the footballer.
Now, as reported by Reuters, a Twitter spokesperson has publicly stated that the company would notify the users named in the suit before handing over their information to the authorities.
Tony Wang, who just relocated to the UK this past weekend, and who is now Twitter’s general manager of European operations, spoke about Twitter’s position at the e-G8 Internet forum in Paris on Wednesday:
“If we’re legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction. That’s not to say that they will ultimately prevail, that’s not to say that law enforcement doesn’t get the information they need, but what it does do is take that process into the court of law and let it play out there.”
This stance is in keeping with Twitter’s position that its users have a right to know when they have been named in a lawsuit. Back in January, Twitter was being praised for notifying several of its users allegedly associated with WikiLeaks of the US government’s request for their personal information.