Court: Law enforcement can view private Twitter messages

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that law enforcement agencies can view private messages and tweets posted on Twitter.

The court on Thursday ruled in favor of Essex County prosecutors who attempted to access video posts from two unidentified Twitter profiles. The court ruled that law enforcement needs to obtain a communications data warrant in order to view material.

Essex County officials argued they were trying to access audio that had already been transmitted as opposed to live transmissions. A wiretapping warrant, which is more difficult to secure, is needed for electronic communications in transit.

Defense attorney Lawrence Lustberg, who participated in arguments, agreed with the ruling but said that some Twitter conversations happen in real time.