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Does the Fourth Amendment protect your Twitter account?

Nov. 12, 2012

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

When the Fourth Amendment was drafted as part of the Bill of Rights, the founders were adamant about protecting people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. They had been labeled traitors and revolutionaries during the War of Independence, with their property and their associates’ property confiscated and their houses searched at whim by the British.

This fear of government intrusion led to the Fourth Amendment, which was intended to prevent the federal government from invading one’s privacy without due cause.

Flash-forward to modern times and the scope of what is your personal property and what is private starts to blur, especially when it comes to social media. Does something posted online but deleted, removed or marked private fall into the realm of an unreasonable search if law enforcement wants to build a case against someone? That is the issue being decided in the case New York County v. Twitter.

On Oct. 1, 2011, Malcolm Harris, a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement, joined a massive march on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Harris was among 700 people arrested.

New York County prosecutors issued a subpoena to the micro-blogging service Twitter to hand over all the information regarding Harris, including his tweets, from Sept. 15, 2011, to the end of the year, and requested that the service not inform Harris or his lawyer about the subpoena. Prosecutors wanted to find out if Harris had been aware of a police order barring the march.

Twitter refused to honor the request and informed Harris and his lawyer of the subpoena. Harris’ lawyer filed a suit to fight the subpoena. But Judge Matthew Sciarrino said Harris did not have a legal basis to fight the subpoena. He ruled: “While the Fourth Amendment provides protection for our physical homes, we do not have a physical ‘home’ on the Internet.” He also asserted that the tweets did not belong to Harris because Twitter was the owner of the information and that it can distribute them “to anyone, any way and for any reason it chooses.”

After reviewing the decision, Twitter filed a suit to quash the subpoena, arguing that the judge did not understand how the service worked. It stated that under the company’s terms of service, all tweets and photos posted with the service are owned by the person posting them.

It also said the subpoena asked not only for tweets, but also for private messages that Harris may have sent or received during that time. Twitter contended that under the Stored Communications Act, agencies like Twitter have the right to refuse demands from the government to reveal information about users. A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, Aden Fine, said the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act requires government agencies that want access to a subscriber’s account to notify the subscriber and likely get a warrant. Fine also argued that because the prosecutors want the content of the tweets and private messages, they might be violating the First Amendment.

Twitter’s arguments put it at odds with the New York County prosecutors who said the information was key to building its case against Harris. But does the subpoena violate Harris’ Fourth Amendment right to unreasonable search and seizure?

Harris is being charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor crime, which will probably end in a fine and no jail time if he is convicted. Lawyers, including American Civil Liberties Union senior staff attorney Aden Fine, say the subpoena is not typical for this type of case and might be intended to deter protesters in the future.

What do you think?

Does the subpoena violate Harris’ Fourth Amendment rights? Do you agree with Judge Sciarrino that privacy does not exist on the Internet the way it exists in your home? Should Twitter hand over the tweets and private messages or is it correct to refuse? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!


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Comments
4/1/2016
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Max
Biller/Plymouth High School
I believe that on the internet, twitter pays for its specific place on the internet as www.twitter.com. As users, we takee a specific spot in that website. This is almost like millions of people living in a land lord's apartment. Where this becomes confusing is that this many users leads to many advertisements, which leads to profit for twitter. Twitter then is benefiting from users. So the question is, is this a form of buying a home on the internet. I believe it is because without user on twitter, twitter would have no profit to keep their domain.

4/1/2016
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Hannah
Mrs. Biller/PHS
This violates Harris' Fourth Amendment Rights because the government didn't have permission to go onto his twitter account. Twitter's privacy policy also stated that tweets and messages are the users personal property. The government can't just take the information without consent.

4/1/2016
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Anna
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think that they are violating his Fourth Amendment rights. When you make a Twitter account anything you post or send is owned by you not the company, so when the prosecutors asked to see his tweets and messages without a warrant it was violating his right to not have his stuff searched threw. I don't think that Twitter should hand information over because they have a contract with their users to keep their information private.

4/1/2016
Plymouth Wisconsin
Joe Steinhardt
Plymouth High School / Biller
The subpoena does violate Harris' Fourth Amendment Rights because they do not have reasonable cause. they could be just looking through his personal information for no reason. I agree with the Judge as well because you are paying for your home so it means it's your property which means you should get privacy. On the internet you are putting it out to the public for all to see. It is correct to refuse to hand over the tweets and messages of Twitter Users because they might have done nothing wrong, but are still being searched. They should find evidence elsewhere.

4/1/2016
plymouth,wi
anthony
jbiller/Plymouth hi
I think they are violating his rights because they should not have search his twitter account or message if its not like physical property. yes people can not get into trouble listing to other peoples conversation, but searching his twitter account, that was messed up

4/1/2016
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Brodie
Mrs. Biller
I think that this doesn't go against the fourth amendment because they are seizing any physical property and searching a person physically. Also it's sort of like tapping a phone to listen on a call.

4/1/2016
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Brodie
Mrs. Biller
I think that this doesn't go against the fourth amendment because they are seizing any physical property and searching a person physically. Also it's sort of like tapping a phone to listen on a call.

4/1/2016
Plymouth / Wisconsin
Halie
Mrs. Biller / Plymouth High School
They should not have searched his Twitter because it violates the Fourth Amendment. This violates the Fourth Amendment by invading your privacy, especially when his account was private. Sciarrino is correct, when you post things on the internet it must be done with great caution.

3/31/2016
Plymouth/WI
Jovianne
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
I believe that subpoena infringes on Harris' Fourth Amendment rights. It invades his privacy with a search warrant or his consent. I also agree with Judge Sciarrino that privacy does not exist on the internet the way it does in your home. Anything publicly posted on twitter can be viewed work wide while your home is much more private. I believe the twitter should not hand over his tweets or private messages if New York County does not have Harris's consent or has been issued a search warrant.

3/31/2016
Plymouth/WI
DeShaun Nichols
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that the subpoena violates his rights because even though you may not have a physical home on the internet you still have a right to some privacy, Whether that be online or in your own home. The Fourth Amendment should protect this, even on the internet.

3/31/2016
Plymouth/WI
Will Birkholz
Biller/PHS
The subpoena doesn't violate Harris' rights. He should know that whatever he does on the internet can be seen by anyone, and that he has to take responsibility for his actions on the internet just as much as he has to in real life. Twitter should not be defending this case because what Harris' posted is his. Privacy is nonexistent on the internet because one screenshot and a few snap chats is all it takes for your "private" photo to go viral. Harris can't protest that his deleted material should be kept private, he needs to be held accountable for his wrong actions whether they are on the internet or not.

3/31/2016
Plymouth, WI
Maggie
Mrs. Biller/PHS
The subpoena does not violate Harris' Fourth Amendment rights. If he puts something out on the internet it is there for everyone to see in cyberspace. If everyone can see the material, then the government should be able to see the material. Also if someone is willing to put something on the internet, they should know how many people see it and how it can be used against them. Overall, I do not think the subpoena violates his rights.

3/31/2016
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Christiana
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that looking through his public tweets isn't a violation of his rights, but looking at his private messages is different. He accepted Twitter's privacy policy and terms of service, so that's when Twitter has to decide if they want to give away his information.

3/31/2016
Plymouth Wisconsin
Stefan A.
Mrs. Biller/ Plymouth High School
The subpoena did indeed violate Harris' Fourth amendment rights. The government was in no position to search his private digital property, especially without consent or warrant. The problem with these issues is that the current laws tend to be outdated, pertaining to an individual's physical property. Therefore I disagree with Judge Sciarrino, we have a right to privacy on the internet if it is on a "protected" site such as Twitter that clearly states it protects your privacy. Twitter is in no place to release Harris' intellectual property to the government, especially since they state that everything you write is considered yours. So yes, it is correct for Twitter to refuse to release the tweets. They are the sole intellectual property of Harris', regardless of whether they are part of his physical property or not.

3/31/2016
Plymouth/WI
Charlotte
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
The subpoena doesn't violate his Fourth Amendment rights. Harris agreed to the Terms and Conditions of Twitter so he knows that he is posting things for anyone to see, which no longer becomes private. However, I believe his private messages should only be seen by him and Twitter and should not be used to take him to court, because the people trying to get that evidence most likely do not have a warrant. This does violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

3/31/2016
Plymouth, WI
Amanda
Mrs. Biller / Plymouth High School
The subpoena does not violate his rights. They have a right to search his Twitter because he agreed to have the social media which can be seen by everyone. Privacy exists differently than it does in your home on line. Once something is online, its there forever and anyone will be able to see it. Twitter should hand over the messages because they had a reasonable cause to search him.

3/31/2016
Plymouth/WI
Charlotte
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
The subpoena doesn't violate his Fourth Amendment rights. Harris agreed to the Terms and Conditions of Twitter so he knows that he is posting things for anyone to see, which no longer becomes private. However, I believe his private messages should only be seen by him and Twitter and should not be used to take him to court, because the people trying to get that evidence most likely do not have a warrant. This does violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

3/31/2016
Plymuoth/Wisconsin
Lily
Biller/PHS
They are violating his rights. They shouldn't have searched his Twitter, even if its not his physical property. I can argue against myself and say that people can listen in on your phone conversations then how are online profiles any different? Buy overall, I think its a violation.

3/31/2016
Plymouth. WI
Keeley
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
This violates his Fourth Amendment rights because there is no right for someone to search his Twitter account without his consent or without a warrant. Harris' account is his personal property and needs to be treated as such and Twitter should not be able to just "give" it out without personal consent.

3/31/2016
Plymouth, WI
Brady
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
The subpoena does not violate his rights. If something is put out on the internet it is there for anyone.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg/PA
Quinn
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
The subpoena does violate his Fourth Amendment rights. They have no right to search his social media without his consent or a warrant. Although it isn't physical property it is still property of Harris and needs to be treated as such. Though technically Twitter is the legal owner of the information it is not theirs to give out due to it being Harris' private property. Judge Sciarrino is incorrect in saying that privacy works differently on the internet than it does in your home. Like I said before just because it isn't physical property doesn't mean it shouldn't be treated as such. Twitter is correct to refuse handing over the messages. If they wound up with a warrant then the information should be shared but until than it would be a violation of the fourth amendment.

4/15/2014
Sidney Montana
Erin
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether or not social media is protected by the Fourth Amendment and saved from searches by the government. When it comes to the internet, the things you say become very dangerous. Not only is it open to almost everyone, but there are multiple ways to find what you said. I agree with what Sciarrino said, "the tweets did not belong to Harris because Twitter was the owner of the information and that it can distribute them to anyone, any way, and for what ever reason it chooses." The Stored Communications Act gives Twitter the right to refuse the demands from the government to reveal information about its users, as the article says, but does not force them to do so. If they wanted to give up the information about Harris, they could. If Harris didn't people to see what he had put on twitter, he wouldn't have posted it on this social media that is open for everyone to view. As Travis from Texas stated in an earlier blog, the statuses are not protected since you are posting it on a public site on a public network (the internet).

4/14/2014
Sidney/MT
Tori
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue here is in regards to the Fourth Amendment, which states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." While some believe that the Fourth Amendment's right to privacy doesn't exist on the Internet the way it exists in your home, such as Judge Sciarrino, I believe that there are elements on the Internet that should be protected under the Fourth Amendment, such as direct messages and deleted items. In this case, New York County wanted Twitter to hand over all information regarding Malcolm Harris, a member of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, to find out if Harris had been aware of a police order barring a massive march he attended and was arrested for. I believe it was wrong to not inform Harris about the subpoena, as Tionne does, but also violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which, as the article said, requires government agencies that want access to a subscriber's account to notify the subscriber and likely get a warrant, which New York County did not. Also, I believe it violated Harris' Fourth Amendment rights because, as stated in the article, "under the company's [Twitter] terms of service, all tweets and photos posted with the service are owned by the person posting them." If the service were to own them, then I believe the service should be able to choose whether or not it wants to give the information, as they do under the Stored Communications Act, which means that agencies like Twitter have the right to refuse demands from the government to reveal information about users. Twitter is therefore correct to refuse them. Most of what you post on Twitter is public, but you should have a right to privacy regarding private messages and deleted items.

2/6/2013
harrisburg
tionne
central dauphin high school
Well, first off not informing Harris about the subpoena was wrong, constitutional, or not. He should have been warned first, he wasn't on the verge of a capital crime, so why not inform him of his wrong doings? Also, violating ones freedom of speech is unconstitutional. Though stating in the terms & conditionings, it stated the tweets, photos, and messages were owned by the person that owned the account. Yes this violates Harris's fourth amendment because though he was protesting, it wasnt potentially harmful to anyone. So it was highly unreasonable. #TwitterRights

2/6/2013
Pennslyvania
Kara
Central Dauphin High School
I do believe that the Fourth Amendment does indeed protect your Twitter and other social media accounts but under certian conditions. For example, if one were posing a threat or harm to another, I do believe that the government and State have a right to go through and search your socail media but following the terms of "Search and Seizure." Once evidence of what one would be searching for is found the search must stop. If it continues then I believe that it is a violation of your constitutional rights. Therefore I do believe that the Fourth Amendment does indeed protect your Twitter and other socail media accounts under certain circumstances.

2/6/2013
Harrisburg, PA
Andrea
Central Dauphin
The Internet is a tricky thing. Whatever you put on the web is public and i agree that it is very different from your home. I do not thinik that Twitter should hand over the tweets and private messages. If they really wanted to use the information on the twitter they could just look him up.

1/8/2013
Texas
Travis
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I think the subpoena does not violate Harris' forth amendment rights in the case of his posted status and pictures. As for his private messages on twitter, i do believe those are protected by the 4th ammendment since they are much like emails or text messages and are private. The statuses and pictures are not protected since you are posting it on a public site on a public network (the internet). Claiming that these are private and the goverment cannot view them is like putting a poster on a telephone post and saying the police cannot look at it. If your afraid of someone looking at such things on the internet even if its a "private post" then it should be common sense not to post it at all. In this case i believe the only thing protected by the 4th ammendment is his private messages and nothing more.

1/2/2013
Montgomery/Texas
Bertha R.
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I think the subpoena violates Harris’ forth amendment but his first as well. The police had no warrant for the tweets or private messages. Yes, once something is put on twitter or for anywhere for that matter, it is no longer private, but it should still not be used against them. There are in some cases, where yes, something on the Internet should have action taken against it but not something as minor as this. Even though we don’t have a place on the Internet that is like a home and a place we know that is completely and solely ours where we know that no one can see, we still have OUR own accounts that we signed up for to express how we feel, which is our first amendment. I do not think twitter should hand over the tweets or the private messages; it is not just a violation of his fourth amendment, but in violation of the first also.

1/1/2013
Montgomery/Texas
Cady W.
Metzger/Montgomery High School
Once something is posted to the internet, it should not be considered private anymore, even if done in special messages directly between two people. Some people may think that the fourth amendment would protect private messages, but in reality, nothing on the internet is private. It is there for all to see. I believe that one should err on the side of caution and have all important conversations in person, or not at all. If it really is important for the people to see the tweets and messages, I think Twitter should hand them over. Harris should not put such valuable information on the internet.

12/10/2012
CA
Yovana
MHS
The fourth amendment does not protect your twitter account. Once something is online, it is no longer private. Twitter should hand over the messages because they no longer were private anyways.

12/9/2012
Ca.
Melissa
Monache
I do not believe our twitter account is protected by the fourth amendment. Yes you are allowed to post what you feel but, at the end of the day you are accountable for what you post. There is a certain extent that it could protect you unless its promoting violence or assaulting someone.

12/7/2012
Irving / Texas
Kelsey
Bradley / Nimitz
We do own our words. Weather our words be thought, said, typed, printed, or shared they are our words. Evey thought I have ever thought has been mine and nobody has tried to challenge that. There has never been a person to tell me that I have to give them my words because I thought them in their house. Privacy does apply to the Internet. If it didn't then what would be the point in reading the terms of agreement or even having any. People before they join something like to make sure that whatever they post on a social network will still be theirs. It is ridiculous to think that just because the place of where your thoughts are being held is no longer in your head but instead online that the online source now is the owner of that thought. Which is why Twitter should not give Harris’ tweets or private messages. If because of The Stored Communications Act Twitter can not be forced to give out someones tweet almost does not matter because the words are not their own. Twitter was right to refer back to the act to protect their social network user and if they had not it would have been an invasion of privacy.

12/4/2012
Montgomery/TX
Brian
Metzger/Montgomery
I think the fourth amendment doesnt protect your Twitter account because if you post a comment on the internet, it is no longer private and everyone can see the comment, therefore, released from the protection of the amendment. The authorities wouldnt need a warrent to search Twitter, a public and open-to-everyone website.

12/2/2012
Irving/Texas
Hannah
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena does not violate Fourth Amendment rights because when you post something on the internet you release your rights and people are allowed to use whatever you post. I agree with Judge Sciarrino because what you think is private on the internet could possibly be leaked all over the internet and you have no knowledge of it until it gets you into trouble. Twitter should be allowed to refuse handing over tweets because at the end of the day you are accountable for what you say but you should not be used for governmental issues if you do not want to.

11/29/2012
Irving/Tx
Jennifer T.
Bradley/Nimitz
The fourth amendment does not protect our twitter accounts, because they can be viewed by authorities if they believe you may cause others harm. For everything we do and say there will be a consequence with equal or greater reaction. When we post something public or online it belongs to the social media that was used as a medium to publicize that message. If you have committed or said something wrong, then the authorities should have a right to investigate what you have been up to. You are responsible for what you say and do. It is the authorities job to protect the public from harm. But only if they have evidence against you. The subpoena was following the law.

11/27/2012
Porterville, CA
Weston
Smith/MHS
The subpoena was following the law and as far as I understand, you are allowed to subpoena objects from an individual's physical home as well. The only problem I can see with this whole ordeal is the attempt to conceal the subpoena from Harris and his attorney. I think people have to be held accountable for what they say and do, regardless of whether what was done was public or private.

11/26/2012
irving/tx
cindy m
bradley/nimitz
I do not believe our twitter account is protected by the fourth amendment. Yes you are allowed to post what you feel but, at the end of the day you are accountable for what you post. There is a certain extent that it could protect you unless its promoting violence or assaulting someone.

11/26/2012
Irving/Tx
Heather E
Bradley/Nimitz
The subphoena does not violate Harris's Fourth Amendment because they did have plausible cause to search his twitter. He was apart of a protest that turned violent and resulted in arrest. The police do have a right to find out if anything was plotted online. Yes, I do agree with Judge Sciattino because nowadays kids are bullying and harassing others online that results to suicide, and that is not morally right. Twitter does have a right to refuse the information because that is their right, however, the state did not go about it the wrong way, they did subpoena all records which is legal, so they do need to hand over the tweets.

11/25/2012
Irving/Tx.
Katie D
Bradley/Nimitz
The law violates the fourth amendment because Twitter policy says that everything posted is owned by the person posting it. However, Judge Sciarrino is correct when he says the privacy in the home is not the same as privacy on the internet. The internet is a public search engine, but there are still ways to monitor who see what. Twitter has every right to refuse. They shouldn't have to hand over what doesn't belong to them.

11/25/2012
Irving/Tx
Jennifer R
Bradley/Nimitz
The internet is something that is available to everyone. As technology continues to expand, privacy is becoming harder to have. Everyone that post stuff on the internet is informed or aware that what they post can be seen by other people. The fourth amendment does not protect the right of the people who decide to post stuff on the internet. The fourth amendment, search and seizure is about protecting your personal property; the internet is not your personal property. Since twitter is on the internet, the tweets that are posted can be seen by anyone.

11/19/2012
Belleville/NY
Kylee
Colby/Belleville-Henderson
Social media is not protected by the 4th amendment. It is not property. Twitter is internet-based and once something is posted, it is no longer your property or thought. Twitter is an internet-based coorporation, however, and can choose to disclose the information or not. Harris' personal twitter account, though, isn't protected by an amendment. If the police have a warrant, anything that a person has ever posted online can be found and used against them. Social Media wasn't a right when the amendments were created. Why does everyone think they can use the amendments to protect their "privacy"?

11/18/2012
Irving/Tx
Jazmyn
Bradley/Nimitz
The 4th amendment does not protect the privacy of your Twitter account. If someone posted something, that makes the government get involved, then the government has every right. What if its an an endangerment to everyone else in the world. I feel the government has a right to check anything that they feel is going to harm something or someone else

11/18/2012
Irving/Texas
Monica
Bradley / Nimitz
It does go against your 4th amendment because its going through your thing invading your privacy. Now if Harris had his twitter account public then that's on him. I also don't agree with what Judge Sciarrino said it does not just exist in your home. Like if there were to be a person to look through your purse or backpack at school. That is an invasion of privacy. And it's morally wrong. It is correct for Twitter to refuse it protects there users privacy.

11/17/2012
Irving/TX
Mayra Z
Bradley/Nimitz
I dont think it breaks the 4th amendment because the 4th amendment is against unreasonable seizures and searchers . This mainly applied to the citizens houses being protected against officials or soldiers.Therefore I do agree with judge Sciarrino. Even though it appears to not break the law the government has to make sure they know that twitter does have the right to refuse because they own it it seems logical . Since Harris knows everything posted is his fault but twitter owns it and he can do as he wishes with it ,its his ownership.

11/16/2012
Irving/TX
Julio
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the subpoena doesn't truly violate Harris' Fourth Amendment rights, but the fact that the prosecutors told twitter not to speak of this to Harris or his lawyer was really wrong. I agree with Judge Sciarrino because what ever you put on the internet isn't entirely private as compared to what you have or put in your house. Twitter should hand over the tweets, but the private messages should be kept away from other people besides Harris.

11/16/2012
Irving/TX
Rose
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena itself is not a violation of Harris' Forth Amendment rights, The fact that they did it behind his back with out his knowledge and that of his lawyer is wrong. And therefore that violets the fourth amendment. Twitter does have a right to refuse to hand over uses information because its part of the terms and agreements. They should a change in the constitution that also protects peoples information online.

11/16/2012
Irving/TX
Lily
Bradley/Nimitz
At this point, it would be hard to imagine any place less private than the Internet. Nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again. In fact, if you're so obsessed with privacy then the last place you want to be is on the Internet. That's why we're often told to not put anything on the Internet that we would not want to be held accountable for. I don't believe the subpoena violated Harris' Fourth Amendment rights. You may think that Twitter is part of your personal life, but it's far from that. I agree with Judge Sciarrino that privacy does not exist on the Internet the way it exists at home. Once you do something on the Internet, it's there to stay forever.It's correct for Twitter to refuse to hand over the tweets,and private messages if they want to.At the same time though, the authorites do have the right to ask for a subscriber's information. It all goes back to the idea that the Internet has never, and will never be private.

11/16/2012
Irving/Texas
Pablo G.
Bradley/Nimitz
The Twitter account wasn't seized and taken over by the government. Nor was Harris limited by the government on what he may or may not say. If he wanted his tweets private, Twitter has a setting for that. Where is the violation in rights? The account remained his. The tweets could have been seen without the consent of him or Twitter, all someone had to do was follow him on the service. Boom. Is that a violation as well? No. Twitter isn't like U.S. postal mail, where everything is private and exclusively of the owner. It is out in the open, online, and under such settings, anyone with a computer and internet access may view tweets/photos/videos that Harris may have posted. His private messages? Perhaps that may have been an overstep of the boundary. A warrant would have been better, as then a judge would have had to sign off on it, thus making it perfectly legal and without question. There were no violations of rights in Harris' case. Twitter isn't his personally, and if the government really wanted to see what he may or may not have posted, a simple click of the button "follow" would have sufficed. Some great violation for sure.

11/16/2012
Irving/ TX
Amber P
Bradley/ Nimitz
Yes, subpoena absolutely violated Harris' Fourth Amendment, those tweets were his property. Sciarrino is 100 percent correct, when posting things on the internet it must be done with great caution. Twitter has to think about the situation, refusing when appropriate and complying when necessary.

11/15/2012
Irving/Tx
Vanessa C.
Bradley/Nimitz
The Subpoena didn't violate Harris' Fourth Amendment rights because what ever you put in the internet is not safe everyone can see it and make a good use out of it. That is way there are statements that say be careful for what you say because you never know when it will come back at you... Posting things in the internet even though there are ''private'' there are people out there that will find it and use it for their benefit and then you will be the one in trouble with the law. Twitter did the correct way of not showing the twitter messages because if they did it will bring mistrust from the user to twitter and if they did it may cause lawsuits to them.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Steph M.
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
I think that people have the freedom to post what ever they want to in their Tweeter's account, but they have the responsibility not to make inappropriate posts. However I think that the Forth amendment protects the right

11/15/2012
Irving/Tx
Kristian
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena does violate Harris' fourth amendment. Because of their request for private information that belongs to Harris, they don't have that right based on the 4th amendment. So, privacy on the internet should exist like it exists in homes, because the things posted on the internet is the property of the person who posted it. Though the things may be posted on a website, the rule about privacy must be read over to confirm that the information posted does, indeed, belong to the person. Twitter was correct to refuse to hand over the tweets and private messages, because it was Harris' private information. Although if he didn't have his tweets protected, that would be public information.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Norah
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I do think that the Fourth Amendment should protect Twitter accounts because it is our personal feelings and words

11/15/2012
Watertown / MA
Diora
Rimas
If an individual has a twitter account it's their responsibility to make their posts appropriate but yes the forth amendment does in fact protect the rights but to a certain extend.

11/15/2012
Watertown
Maysa
Mr. Rimas/Watertown Highschool
I think that this is a violation of the fourth amendment because what people say on the internet should be protected from any sources that the user does not want their words to be seen by. Although people take responsibility for everything that they post, they have the right to the privacy of the words they put online.

11/15/2012
Watertown/ MA
Wilson
Mr. Rimas
yes the fourth amendment protects your twitter or if it doesn't, it should!

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Rose
Rimas/Watertown
It's a violation because these were his private messages not public tweets which is violation of privacy

11/15/2012
Irving, TX
Cristina P.
Austin/JESA
When the New York County Prosecutors issued a subpoena, it definitely violated Harris' Fourth Amendment Rights. The fourth amendment states "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." When the amendment mentions the word effects, it is talking about personal belongings. The New York County had no right to ask twitter for Harris' tweets regardless if Twitter is a social networking site or public.

11/15/2012
Irving/TX
Sandra C.
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena itself is not a violation of Harris' Forth Amendment rights, but the fact that the prosecutors didn't want to inform Harris or his lawyers was wrong. I definitely agree with Judge Sciarrino because anything on the internet isn't entirely private as compared to a house. Twitter should hand over the tweets, but not the private messages.

11/15/2012
Watertown/Ma
Anthony
Rimas/Watertown Highschool
I think the fourth amendment should protect your twitter account but not look at your private messages.

11/15/2012
wartertown/ MA
Ariana S
Mr. Rimas/ watertown high
The fourth amendment protects your freedom of speech and what you write but then again it doesn't if you say something that is against another person or is offensive.

11/15/2012
wartertown/ MA
Ariana S.
Mr. Rimas/ watertown high
I think that the federal government should require healthy lunches because it's going to help and benefit the children in the school. Kids are eating such unhealthy food that it's hurting them and of-course now they don't care but in the long run it's going to hurt them- so higher action should be required.

11/15/2012
Watertown MA
Ali
Remis/Watertown High School
I believe that this is a violation of the 4th amendment only because they wanted access to his private messages as well as his public tweets. Any tweets you publicly post on twitter should be open to anyone to view, but direct messages are private and that should be protected.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Derek
Mr. Rimas
I think New York's prosecutors are reaching on this one... While people should always watch what they post on public websites, there has to be a limit to what the government can and can't use when targeting citizens for potential crimes. Every new hurdle that the government is allowed to clear to access personal information is one less safeguard the citizens have to protect their privacy.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Gabriel
Rimas/Watertown high School
Yes the 4th amendment protects our twitter accounts because it is in the Constitution that we have freedom of speech. We have the right to say whatever it is we want on twitter. Yes obviously some people take it too far and say things that inappropriate, but technically we all have the right to say whatever we want as long as it falls under the law.

11/15/2012
Watertown, MA
Joey
Rimas/Watertown High School
Yes the fourth ammendment protects your twitter account

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Kevin M
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I believe that the subpoena does, in fact, violate Harris' Fourth Amendment rights. The framers of the constitution included the "elastic clause" in order to give our set of laws the ability to be used to govern just as well in the future, with all of the new technological advancements that were to follow. According to Twitter, the tweets, photos, etc. are the property of its users. Judge Sciarrino misunderstood this fact and thus, demonstrated a complete misinterpretation of the constitution. Using Judge Sciarrino's logic, Twitter would be responsible for all of the interactions of its users, which Twitter understandably does not want. Twitter made the correct decision in not handing over Harris' information because they respect the privacy and the property of their users.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Pat L
Rimas/Watertown High School
I think that the subpoena issued by New York County violated Harris' Fourth Amendment rights, his tweets belong to him and they should be protected by the Fourth Amendment. I do agree that privacy on the internet isn't the same as it is in my home. However, I feel like internet privacy should be protected in the same way that it is in the real world. If Twitter refuses to hand over the information of their users, there is no problem with this.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Stephanie
Rimas/Watertown
The Internet has created some ambiguity in some of our laws, including the Fourth Amendment. I personally think the Harris' Fourth Amendment rights were violated. It is true that privacy does not exist on the Internet as it does at home since what we do online leaves behind a track that cannnot be erased.

11/15/2012
watertown / ma
Jordan
mr.rimas/watertown high school
The Fourth Amendment protects a persons Twitter account to a certain extent of the law. But at the same time a persons Twitter account can be seen by people all over the world unless that person locks their tweets so unless a person is following that person he/she cant see their tweets

11/15/2012
Watertown/Ma
Logan
Rimas/Watertown
I do not believe that the subpoena issued violates Harris' fourth amendment rights. Once you have posted on a massive social networking site such as twitter you have made that post public. You made that decision to hit submit and made your opinion a public one and should have to deal with the subsequent consequences. The subpoena does not violate his rights because there is nothing unreasonable about the search as it is public information. I do believe though that if Twitter refuses to hand over the private messages and tweets they have the right to do so as they are the ones in charge of the site and can do with the information they have received as they please.

11/15/2012
Irving/TX
Daniela R.
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena completely violated Harris' Fourth Amendment rights because Twitter claims that everything tweeted is property of the person who posted it. Things on the internet are not as private as things in your home, there is no question about it. Twitter should not, at all, hand over tweets or private messages to anyone. Especially in small cases like Harris'.

11/14/2012
Irving/TX
Stephen S.
Bradley/Nimitz
The internet has become a huge thing in the 21st century and privacy really doesn't exist there. Whatever you put on the internet shall stay on the internet forever. The 4th amendment, search and seizure is about protecting your personal property. Even tho your twitter may be your own personal account, it does not mean it is protect by the 4th amendment. I agree with Judge Sciarrino, twitter, being apart of the internet, is a website where whatever you sure is sent out to everyone; your tweets, pictures and links. But I do agree with Twitter about the direct messages, those messages are between you and the other person you are sending them too. But those are still on the internet which shouldnt necessarily be protected by the 4th amendment.

11/14/2012
Irving/Tx
Ashley C
Bradley/Nimitz
When the New York County Prosecutors issued a subpoena, it definitely violated Harris' Fourth Amendment Rights. The fourth amendment states "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." When the amendment mentions the word effects, it is talking about personal belongings. The New York County had no right to ask twitter for Harris' tweets regardless if Twitter is a social networking site or public.

11/14/2012
Irving,Tx
Dominic
Bradley/Nimitz
Privacy is something that most people take very seriously. I also strongly disagree with the comments of Judge Sciarrino. Your twitter is your twitter. You should be able to use it any way you want. Twitter should realize this and not hand over anything, no matter what the circumstances. When people get in trouble for it, it honestly makes me mad.

11/13/2012
Irving/Texas
Linda
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't believe that the subpoena violates Harris' Fourth Amendment rights because I agree with what Judge Sciarrino said. The internet is a place to spread ideas for anyone who is anyone to read, see, and take. There is a reason why there are so many warnings given of why you should be careful over what you put in the internet. Anyone is allowed to take it. Twitter shouldn't refuse to hand over the tweets because the person who posted them should have known that they could be seen by any person with internet anyways. The 4th amendment doesn't apply to the internet in this situation because there is no privacy in the internet, even though they make us believe there is.

11/13/2012
Irving, TX
Sandra E.
Bradley/Nimitz
The subpoena did not violate Harris' Fourth Amendment Rights because they had a reason to ask for the Twitter information, which was to find out if Harris was aware of a police order barring the march. I don't agree on Judge Sciarrino statement because even though the internet is not a physical house the Fourth Amendment protects our rights to to be secure for unreasonable searches and seizures, Therefore, other than house and papers. Our founding fathers stated protection in their houses and papers because of back then when injustices were common. Now, the Fourth Amendment can be interpreted differently because now we have social media in our lives and we keep so may personal information that is kept secured by these websites. Twitter is doing good by not handing over Harris' information because they own it and should respect the users private documents.

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