….As Americans, we should be free to express ourselves online without fearing that our personal information and communications will end up in government hands – unless law enforcement obtains a probable cause warrant. But in several recent court cases, the government attempted to sidestep the warrant procedure by using subpoenas – which require a far lower standard – to force social media sites like Twitter to turn over private user data.
In these cases, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies sought a wide range of information about political activists from their social networks – from old tweets (related to the charges or not), to private direct messages, to subscriber information (including IP addresses, which can reveal your location). Sometimes these practices are kept secret, making it impossible for Americans to defend their rights in court….
Survey of developments from New York, Boston, San Francisco, and concerning Wikileaks at the link.