Sunlight is a disinfectant--and this law stinks.

Carol Rose

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, originally wrote this blog for

Our democracy rests on the fundamental notion that no branch of government should have unchecked power. When that system of checks and balances breaks down, abuse of power is inevitable.

So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to learn that, after nine weeks of secret court hearings, the Suffolk Superior Court has ordered Twitter, Inc., to comply with a state administrative subpoena issued by the Suffolk District Attorney's office on December 14, 2011, seeking personally identifying information for an anonymous Twitter user during the period December 8, 2011 to December 13, 2011, for "account or accounts associated with" the names "Guido Fawkes", "@p0ison0N", "@OccupyBoston", or the Twitter hashtags "#d0xcak3" and "#BostonPD".

ACLU asks court to unseal proceedings in Twitter subpoena case

Secrecy about the legal process itself undermines integrity of the judicial system.

"Secret court proceedings... are troubling as a matter of both law and democracy."

A Suffolk Superior Court judge held a secret hearing over the objections of lawyers from the ACLU of Massachusetts, and then impounded all documents and motions filed in the case.

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