French Jewish Students' Union seeks $50M in criminal damages from Twitter
Twitter says the union is 'grandstanding' and blames it for delays in processing an earlier court decision
IDG News Service - The French Jewish Students' Union has filed a lawsuit seeking 38.5 million euros (US$50 million) in criminal damages from Twitter and its CEO Dick Costolo over the company's failure to identify those responsible for a series of anti-semitic posts last October. Twitter responded that the union was "grandstanding."
The union filed suit on Nov. 29 asking the Paris High Court to order Twitter to provide information allowing the identification of those responsible for posts contravening French laws on hate speech and carrying the hashtag #unbonjuif. It also asked that Twitter provide a simple way for French users of the service to flag messages that would be illegal under those laws. Four other French antiracism organizations joined the suit.
On Jan. 24 the court ordered Twitter to identify those involved in the creation of the messages, which Twitter had blocked in response to an earlier court order, and gave the company 15 days from receipt of the order in which to comply.
At the time, the union's lawyer told French news media that the company would file a criminal complaint if the company did not disclose the identifying information within the time set by the court.
Late Wednesday, the union told the AFP news service that it had filed a criminal complaint against Twitter and Costolo for their failure to provide the information. It has pledged to pass on to the Shoah Memorial the 38.5 million euros in damages it is seeking. By protecting the anonymity of the authors of the hate speech, Twitter has become their accomplice, union president Jonathan Hayoun told AFP.
However, Twitter said Thursday it had only "received the order in the past few days" and that it planned to lodge an appeal against the January ruling on Friday.
"As yesterday's new filing shows, they are sadly more interested in grandstanding than taking the proper international legal path for this data," a Twitter representative said via email. "We are filing our appeal tomorrow, and would have filed it sooner if not for UEJF's intentional delay in processing the court's decision."
The company did not elaborate on what role the UEJF could have played in the delay of the January ruling.
The UEJF did not respond to a request for comment. On its website, it did not directly acknowledge the new court filing, but republished an AFP story citing its president on the matter.
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at email@example.com.
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions
- Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts
- Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Proactive Planning for Big Data
- Big data is less about the terabytes and more about the query tools and business intelligence needed to make sense of massive amounts...
- Inquiry Spotlight: Consumer-Facing Identity
- The challenges of consumer-facing identity management, access management, and authentication differ in ways subtle and dramatic from those of the employee-facing variety. All Government IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Government IT Webcasts