Twitter surrenders details of UK accounts

By staff

A legal bid to uncover a whistleblower has seen Twitter give up details of five UK users, according to a report.

The Sunday Telegraph cited court documents against “persons unknown” by South Tyneside council.

The local authority wants to uncover the identity of a whistleblower known as ‘Mr Monkey’, who court papers filed in the superior court of California alleged had been posting “false and defamatory statements” online, it reported.

Microblogging site Twitter’s decision to release information about five accounts after being subpoenaed follows its announcement last week that it would hand over details to law enforcement agencies.

Thousands of Twitter users broke a super-injunction identifying Ryan Giggs as the footballer who had had an alleged affair with a reality TV star.

“Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself,” said Tony Wang, Twitter’s head of European operations.

“If we’re legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction.”

Attorney-general Dominic Grieve warned that Twitter users could get a “rude shock” for breaking injunctions, after Liberal Democrat backbencher John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to identity Giggs in the Commons.