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Twitter names anonymous British user after council takes legal action

South Tyneside Council took legal action against the site, claiming that some of its members had been libelled in messages by an anonymous user.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Updated at 16:20

A COURT IN CALIFORNIA has forced Twitter to hand over the name and contact details of an anonymous British user which members of South Tyneside Council in England accuse of libelling them on the site.

The Guardian reports that this is believed to be the first time the site has been forced to reveal a user’s information.

South Tyneside councillor Ahmed Khan is accused of being behind the libellous messages and says he was informed by Twitter in April that his information had been handed over. Khan has denied the accusations and describes the council’s behaviour as “Orwellian” and “like something out of 1984″.

However, the user of one of the accounts mentioned in connection with the council’s Twitter case claims that they are not Khan.

Khan said he thinks the decision breaches not only his human rights, but also potentially the human rights of anyone who has contacted him over Twitter, the BBC reports. He claims a number of whistleblowers have contact him over the site and says the council knows this.

Twitter is currently being challenged to reveal the details of users who violated a superinjunction relating to footballer Ryan Giggs; the Manchester United star was subsequently named by British MP John Hemming in the House of Commons.

Read more about Twitter’s actions in the Guardian article by Nigel Green and Josh Halliday >

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