Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett Subpoenas Twitter Over Criticism of Tom Corbett
Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania’s current Attorney General and the state’s Republican candidate for governor, has taken a most unusual approach to criticism of himself online: He’s subpoenaed Twitter, asking that it hand over the “name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address” associated with two Twitter accounts, @bfbarbie and @casablancaPA, which have only 68 and 123 followers, respectively.
Both accounts, unsurprisingly, have issued lots of Tweets critical of Corbett, but they tend towards the political rather than the expletive: For instance, “Is it wrong to mix campaign work with taxpayer business? Apparently not when Tom Corbett does it:http://bit.ly/92Pp8F #bonusgate #pagovrace.”
Even if Tom Corbett has the legal authority to do this, which is open to debate, it doesn’t seem as though it could possibly be a good idea. Whoever is behind the two accounts criticizing him, they have fairly tiny followings — which is likely to change now that they’re the subject of the wrath of the Attorney General’s office. It’s a classic case of Streisand Effect, and it’s all the more a head-scratcher for the relative tameness of the Tweets in question: You could do a lot worse in most corners of the political blogosphere.
Here’s the full subpoena: