Twitter Turns Over Data on User That Made Threats of Violence

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The New York Times reports that Twitter has complied with a Monday subpoena ordering the company to turn over data associated with the account @obamasmistress, whose owner posted a variety of violent and troll-like messages threatening an attack on a theater in New York and various celebrities. Twitter had initially declined to give out the information, which the NYPD asked for in an emergency request following posts about plans to attack the midtown theater where Mike Tyson is performing a one-man show. ("I’m serious, people are gonna die like Aurora," the user wrote.) In an e-mail, the company said the tweets in question did not meet its criteria for disclosure "when it appears that a threat is present, specific and immediate." However, the court order didn't leave them much of a choice.

Police spokesman Paul Brown said, "We felt that a threat involving an identified location in the heart of the theater district merited immediate cooperation." The police have not said whether they have found the person, who used the soon-to-be-ironic name "Anonymous Celebrity" with the Twitter handle.