Occupy Protesters see Tweets used against them

From The Wall Street Journal:

When Jeff Rae was arrested last October with hundreds of other Occupy Wall Street protesters during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge, he decided to fight the charges, believing he had been entrapped.

On Monday, Mr. Rae changed his mind and accepted a plea agreement with Manhattan prosecutors. Why? The district attorney’s office had subpoenaed his Twitter account, raising the stakes in what he had thought would be a speedy case he could win, he said.

“You’re fighting the king,” said the 31-year-old Washington resident, who had written “I will tweet until I’m cuffed ;)” on Twitter during the Oct. 1 march. “It seemed like a lot of the power was in their hands.”

As they prosecute hundreds of Occupy protesters on lower-level charges such as disorderly conduct, Manhattan prosecutors have turned one of the movement’s principal organizing tools—social media such as Twitter—against the defendants.

In short Twitter messages, protesters coordinate activities and warn others of law-enforcement efforts. In doing so, prosecutors believe some have revealed an intent to break the law.

“The lesson is, if you’re speaking publicly and leaving a record as to who you are, that’s information the government can legally access,” said Orin Kerr, a professor of law at George Washington University who specializes in electronic evidence and Internet law.

Continue to the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal