Twitter hands over user data for alleged hacker

Twitter has handed over user data for an account allegedly involved in hacking attacks on the Boston Police Department.


Kevin Morris

Internet Culture

Published Mar 2, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 8:37 pm CDT

Twitter has handed over user information for an account allegedly involved in hacking attacks on the Boston police and a Boston union during the Occupy Boston protests.

Twitter received the subpoena seeking information on the accounts @OccupyBoston and @pOisAnON, as well as the hashtags #BostonPD and #dOxcak3, on Dec.14 of last year.

On Thursday, the social media giant confirmed it had provided Boston police with data on the person behind @pOisAnON, who used the pseudonym “Guido Fawkes” on Twitter.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended Fawkes in Suffolk County court, arguing that the request violated his or her first amendment rights.

‘‘We continue to believe that our client has a constitutional right to speak, and to speak anonymously,’’ Peter Krupp, the ACLU’s attorney on the case, told the Boston Globe.

Boston police have not disclosed the nature of the investigation. Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County district attorney, told the Boston Globe that the investigation had a “tangential” relationship “at best” with the Occupy Boston movement itself.

“This is a focused investigation,” Wark told the Globe. “Not a fishing expedition.’’

The ruling is hardly surprising. In Twitter’s privacy policy the company clearly states it will hand over user information when legally required to do so.

In accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, non-public information about Twitter users is not released except as lawfully required by appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process.

Back in December, Fawkes greeted the news of the investigation with bravado.

“Haha. Boston PD submitted to Twitter for my information. Lololol? For what? Posting info pulled from public domains? #comeatmebro,” he or she wrote.

That account has since been suspended.

There’s no word yet on Fawkes’ reaction to the latest news.

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*First Published: Mar 2, 2012, 1:39 pm CST