NYPD won't defend the warrantless subpoena it tried to get Twitter critic's data with

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/12/nypd-wont-defend-the-warrantless-subpoena-it-tried-to-unmask-twitter-critic-with.html




here we go again:


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I consider this a very important piece of the article:

While the withdrawal of the subpoena makes it all but impossible to know what the NYPD’s goal was in issuing it, he has his theories. Maybe the police are just trying to rattle him with a shot across the bow. Or maybe the NYPD is trying to find out whether NYPD officers themselves are feeding his organization information about misconduct. “That happens,” Clancy told Hell Gate. "For a junior officer who sees misconduct by his superiors, if you take that to Internal Affairs, maybe your boss has a connection there and it winds up being you who gets in trouble. So some cops prefer to take it to Copwatch."


It’s astonishingly rare that I find myself speaking positively of Twitter/X these days, but credit where credit is due – it sounds like they handled this one perfectly.


Slides note across counter to bank teller
Note: This is a robbery, put all the cash in a bag, no alarms and no one gets hurt.
Takes money, walks outside
Police: Show me your hands! You’re under arrest!
Robber: Oh, nevermind, just a little oopsie
Police: Understandable, have a nice day


Sachs cited case law suggesting that the subpoena power is actually restricted to investigations involving current or former officers.

Ding ding ding. That is absolutely what this was. There is another clue here:

As a further wrinkle, the NYPD’s subpoena letter to X was sent by Michael Yanni, a member of the office of the department’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, but used the email address intelsubpoenas@nynjhidta.org, a domain affiliated with the New York and New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area office, a regional and federal joint drug task force.

In all likelihood there was no case being made against Clancy, but if Copwatch documented a dirty cop HIDTA may have been trying to gather more info. This approach is not great tho, it relies on the subpoenaed party to be quiet about it, and X was not.


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