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The Tweets of Terror?
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The Tweets of Terror?:

 1 Blue Ninja 0, Fri, 30th Dec '11 2:56:17 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Laboriously re-writing my story
TL;DR - An Israeli legal firm is attempting to convince Twitter to ban groups like Hamas from broadcasting their messages on Twitter.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/30/world/meast/israel-twitter-lawsuit/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
Jerusalem (CNN) — Is Twitter aiding and abetting terrorism?

The director of an Israeli legal outfit says yes, and is threatening to sue the micro-blogging site if it doesn't change its policies.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat Ha Din Israel Law Center, sent a letter to Twitter on Thursday asserting that the company is violating U.S. law by allowing groups such as Hezbollah and al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab to use its popular online network.

"It has come to our attention that Twitter Inc. provides social media and associated services to such foreign terrorist organizations, " Darshan-Leitner wrote.

"Please be advised that (doing so) is illegal and will expose Twitter Inc. and its officers to both criminal prosecution and civil liability to American citizens and others victimized" by Hezbollah, al-Shabaab and other foreign terrorist entities.

Twitter declined to comment when contacted by CNN.

In her letter, Darshan-Leitner noted that Hezbollah and al-Shabaab are officially designated as terrorist organizations under U.S. law. She also cited a 2010 Supreme Court case — Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project — which upheld a key provision of the Patriot Act prohibiting material support to groups designated as terrorist outfits.

"Your provision of social media and associated services to Hezbollah and other foreign terrorist organizations would constitute the type of seemingly innocuous material support that would render your company and you personally criminally and civilly liable, " she told Twitter CEO Richard Costolo.

Hezbollah-controlled al-Manar television currently maintains a Twitter account with roughly 7, 500 followers. Other groups considered terrorist organizations by the United States also maintain accounts. Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, posts regularly on at least one government-controlled account.

Darshan-Leitner says she realizes there will be stiff opposition to a potential lawsuit from free speech advocates, but told CNN she nevertheless hopes Twitter will change its policies.

"Once you bring it to their attention, they cannot say that they don't know, " she said.

Aden Fine, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told CNN that the Supreme Court "has not directly addressed the issue of whether any speech allegedly supportive of a designated terrorist organization is unlawful." But "the government can't force private companies to censor lawful speech just because the government doesn't like the speech or the people making the speech, " he said.

Fine noted that since the Internet depends on private companies such as Twitter to function, any clampdown or adverse ruling could be used to restrict everyone's online communications.

Social networks Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been lauded for the role they played in the Arab Spring, a series of anti-regime protests that erupted across the Middle East starting in late 2010. The online networks and instant messaging services were used extensively to spread the word about demonstrations, especially in the case of the Egyptian uprising that toppled longtime strongman President Hosni Mubarak.

A number of governments, however, have started arguing for stricter controls. Authorities in the United Kingdom say rioters used social the networks to coordinate mass civil disobedience earlier this year in London. State prosecutors in Mexico have accused two people of terrorism and sabotage by claiming that their Twitter posts helped spread false rumors about a school attack, leading to real-life violence on the streets of Veracruz.

The Shurat Ha Din Israel Law Center describes itself as a civil rights organization dedicated to "combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world." It supported a similar campaign earlier this year directed at social media giant Facebook.

Among other things, the center succeeded in getting Facebook to pull down a page created by Palestinian activists calling for a "Third Intifada" against Israel.
This fairly obviously ties straight into the First Amendment in the US, as the article mentions. So the topic of the conversation is, what limits should we place on the Freedom of Speech, and how much would it actually affect terrorist organizations? Does speaking on the behalf of, or in favor of, a "designated terrorist outfit" mean that one should be automatically censored? Will driving outfits like Hamas away from public sites like Twitter or Facebook actually put a dent in their operations or recruitment, or will it be one more piece of evidence supporting their worldview?
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 2 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:00:35 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Well, this doesn't surprise me. Did you know that the US Postal Service actually continued to deliver Osama bin Laden's mail for him after 9/11? They sent it to some random Afghanistan post office in the middle of nowhere. It took an order of Congress to stop them, because the bureaucracy was so caught up in its rules.

In any case, I dunno. Israel is basically right, in the sense that Twitter is effectively aiding a terrorist organization. The only reason I don't dismiss Twitter's possible validity in the matter is the First Amendment, which is... meh, shaky ground, I dunno, I think that, given that Hamas and Hezbollah and such are proven terrorist organizations, the pressing need of depriving them of resources should outweigh the marginal benefit of free speech, in this particular case.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Prince of Dorne
[up][up]Eh, I dunno. Hamas is the legitimate Palestinian government party, actually (as in they won the elections even if Fatah then wrestled control of the West Bank from them). In this case I'd really see them as an enemy war side from Israel. And it cannot be that powers can ban their enemies from Twitter. So, this would set a very bad precedent, IMO.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

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 5 Flyboy, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:14:52 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Mm, true. I guess I don't know enough about this to offer an educated opinion, then.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 6 Major Tom, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:17:05 PM Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Eye'm the cutest!
Hamas is the legitimate Palestinian government party

And yet they regularly attack Israeli civilians in a rather indiscriminate fashion.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
Gunpla is amazing!
And?

Governments do that all the time.

Prince of Dorne
Something of which Israel is of course completely innoc... oh, no, it isn't actually. Wanna compare Israeli and Palestinian civilian deaths? It's disgusting.
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Gunpla is amazing!
Theres an israel thread for that. Keep focus on the tweets.

 10 Major Tom, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:22:42 PM Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Eye'm the cutest!
Something of which Israel is of course completely innoc... oh, no, it isn't actually.

They are in the last 10 years. Go on look up every single retaliatory incident, they all have a reason behind them and any civilian deaths that happens (usually because the Palestinians hide their militants behind or among civilians).

^ And yes we should focus on the tweets.

edited 30th Dec '11 3:23:40 PM by MajorTom

Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 11 Octo, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:23:36 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
Bullshit. Israel deliberately attacked civilian targets both in Lebanon and in Gaza. Retaliatory, hah. In the sense of disgusting collective punishment, maybe.
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Gunpla is amazing!
Take. It. To. The. Israel. Thread.

 13 Major Tom, Fri, 30th Dec '11 3:24:15 PM Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Eye'm the cutest!
Prove it. At the same time prove how this thread is just them being For the Evulz.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 14 Joesolo, Fri, 30th Dec '11 9:30:14 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
They don't even want to ban the legitimate government, just hellzbolah, or however the hell you spell their name, and other terrorists.
"Why do you need guns that big?"

"Hitler had a very small penis. "

Le Garcon and Geek Code Red on a German artillery gun
 15 Aceof Spades, Sat, 31st Dec '11 12:00:27 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Hey, we forced the Indians onto reservations, and that apparently doesn't make the US government less legitimate. So I'd say Hamas is as legitimate as anything.

Anyway, what I'm wondering is, if these guys are tweeting and they're considered terrorists, why aren't the people after them using these communications to somehow track them? Is it just not technologically possible? I'm also a little confused about the US's right to free speech can be legally defended on speech coming from another country; I'm assuming there's international law covering that.
 16 johnnyfog, Sat, 31st Dec '11 12:02:23 PM from NYC Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Not entirely a douche
I've heard that Israel originated the software to scan the images on Facebook and link them with positive I Ds, even the if the person in question is wearing a balaclava. All you need is the eyes.
PHD in Thuganomics
 17 Drunk Girlfriend, Sat, 31st Dec '11 12:51:32 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] I don't even know how that's supposed to work, considering that all the other forms of non-human picture identification has been really, really terrible.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
Three-Puppet Saluter
If terrorists are plotting their next move (or even spreading misinformation) via Twitter, then hey, all the easier to stomp the idiots. Seriously, Israel, I thought you guys had a good idea of military intelligence.
Righto. This box you saw. Was it in some kind of desolate rust belt?
 19 Octo, Sat, 31st Dec '11 9:23:35 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
The problem is rather spreading propaganda. But really, if organizations can be shut off Twitter because others accuse them of terrorism... bad idea. Bad precedent.
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Three-Puppet Saluter
Still. "Hi, down with the kuffar, Muslim terrorists often have trouble hitting the sidewalk with a can of paint so there's a pretty good chance I'm using my real IP, please send bionic hornets."
Righto. This box you saw. Was it in some kind of desolate rust belt?
 21 Mark Von Lewis, Sun, 1st Jan '12 12:10:32 PM from Somewhere in Time Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
KCCO
I say let terrorist groups keep their twitter accounts, that way we can tweet pics of star-spangled, red-white-and-blue penises at 'em. tongue
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
 22 Radical Taoist, Sun, 1st Jan '12 5:40:45 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
Bad idea. Wait till China tells us that foreign Tibetans shouldn't be allowed to use Twitter.
If terrorists are plotting their next move (or even spreading misinformation) via Twitter, then hey, all the easier to stomp the idiots. Seriously, Israel, I thought you guys had a good idea of military intelligence.
This.
 23 Joesolo, Mon, 2nd Jan '12 9:31:18 AM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
[up] That is genius. If we force them to get creative, they will and it'll be a pain in the ass to find it.
"Why do you need guns that big?"

"Hitler had a very small penis. "

Le Garcon and Geek Code Red on a German artillery gun
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Total posts: 23
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