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Attorney General Tom Corbett Goes After Anonymous Twitter Critics with Subpoena

Attorney General Tom CorbettGood politicians respond to criticism by engaging in a healthy dialogue with their disgruntled constituency. Pennsylvania Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, on the other hand, responds by slapping a muzzle on Twitter accounts.

According to Techdirt, Corbett has gone so far as to subpoena Twitter in response to two anonymous users who used the microblogging platform to criticize him -- if you wanna call it that. The two accounts, @bfbarbie and @casablancaPA, only have a combined 191 followers, but that hasn't stopped the Attorney General from demanding that the site turn over the "name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address" for both individuals.

Surely there must be a legitimate reason behind Corbett's decision to slam down the iron fist, right? Perhaps some veiled threats against his family, or maybe even a false accusation of peddling drugs to minors? Not exactly. One of the tweets that irked the candidate innocuously read:

Is it wrong to mix campaign work with taxpayer business? Apparently not when Tom Corbett does it: #bonusgate #pagovraceless than a minute ago via web

To most people, that sounds more like legitimate political debate. To Tom Corbett, it's apparently an egregious abuse of the First Amendment. Congratulations, Tommy. You've now all but guaranteed that both these "dissidents" see a surge in their online followings, and you've successfully cast yourself as an insecure diva with the spine of a Fabergé egg. [From: TechCrunch; via: Techdirt and Geekosystem]

Tags: Attorney general, AttorneyGeneral, first amendment, FirstAmendment, freedom of speech, FreedomOfSpeech, governor, law, pennsylvania, politics, republicans, socialnetworking, speech, subpoena, Tom Corbett, TomCorbett, top, twitter, web