Twitter refuses to give 'racist, anti-Semitic' users' details to French lawyers

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 10:40 hrs

Twitter has refused to give French prosecutors the details of users who had posted racist or anti-Semitic comments.

The lawyer for the site, Alexandre Neri, argued that the company is only subject to US law and only a judge in America could force it to release the information.

In October, Jewish student bodies asked Twitter to remove a number of messages, which appeared under the hashtag #unbonjuif (#agoodjew), with some users posting examples such as: '#agoodjew is a dead Jew.'

The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and three other similar groups took Twitter to a French court asking them to hand over the names of all those responsible so they can be prosecuted, the Daily Mail reports.

But Neri told the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris that Twitter 'data is collected and stored in the United States', where the site is based.

He added that the differences between French and US laws on freedom of speech have created a 'huge void, a question mark'.

According to the paper, Stephane Lilti, counsel for the Jewish groups, suggested Twitter had a 'commercial interest' in protecting the anonymity of its users. (ANI)

More from Sify: