British local authority takes Twitter to court in US

May 29, 2011
Homepage of the microblogging website Twitter. An English local authority said it had taken Twitter to court in California and forced it to release the details of a British user. South Tyneside Council, in northeast England, took the legal action in a bid to discover the identity of a blogger behind allegedly libelous statements.

An English local authority said on Sunday it had taken US micro-blogging site Twitter to court in California and forced it to release the details of a British user.

South Tyneside Council, in northeast England, took the legal action in a bid to discover the identity of a blogger behind allegedly libelous statements.

The blogger, known as "Mr Monkey", has levelled a stream of criticism and allegations against councillors and council officers.

A council spokesman confirmed had released information after they took the case to the Superior Court of California.

"Twitter have released information to our lawyers and this is currently being analysed by ," the spokesman told AFP.

Twitter was not immediately available for comment but a spokesman told the BBC: "We cannot comment on any specific order or request.

"As noted in our law enforcement guidelines, it is our policy to notify our users before disclosure of account information."

The South Tyneside Council spokesman added: "This legal action was initiated by the council's previous chief executive and has continued with the full support of the council's current chief executive.

"The council has a duty of care to protect its employees and as this blog contains damaging claims about council officers, is being taken to identify those responsible."The latest controversy came a week after a Premier League footballer began proceedings against the website when a blogger identified him as the player who had taken out an injunction banning the media from exposing an alleged affair.The latest controversy came a week after a Premier League footballer began proceedings against the website when a identified him as the player who had taken out an injunction banning the media from exposing an alleged affair.

A Liberal Democrat later used his parliamentary privilege to name the player as Manchester United's Ryan Giggs.

Explore further: UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

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User comments : 3

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paulthebassguy
3 / 5 (2) May 29, 2011
haha proofreading mistake.

this paragraph is repeated twice.

The latest controversy came a week after a Premier League footballer began proceedings against the website when a blogger identified him as the player who had taken out an injunction banning the media from exposing an alleged affair
Squirrel
5 / 5 (1) May 30, 2011
Why don't the Americans throw UK libel laws in the sea like they did tea and UK rule in December 16, 1773?
ricarguy
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2011
People seem to take the US' freedom of speech as universal. It is NOT. Not even England or Canada recognizes the right of expression of ideas and of the press as in the US. Most everywhere else in the world the government holds the trump card of censorship. Totalitarian regimes and Sharia are the worst, of course.
While we don't know the details of what was said and even in America there is such a thing as libel, the protections here are far greater than in the rest of the world.
Sounds like some local gov't official over there doesn't want his dirty laundry out on the line.
Maybe this guy they're after could have posted his thoughts on Wiki-leaks.