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Israeli Group Threatens Twitter With Lawsuit Over Terrorist Accounts


"Bankrupting terrorism, one lawsuit at a time."

Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal law center, has accused Twitter of hosting terrorist accounts and threatened the microblogging site with a lawsuit if its policy is not changed and the accounts deactivated.

The Daily Mail reports that in a letter to Twitter, the group says that the site is being used by Hezbollah and the Taliban to comment on Western news as well as inform of terrorist attacks. Venture Beat reports that the founder of the activist organization Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a press release the site is violating a 2010 Supreme Court decision, making it unlawful to provide “material support” to terrorist organizations. The Daily Mail has more from Darshan-Leitner:

"Twitter’s complicit service to known foreign terrorist organizations is not only morally irresponsible, it is also illegal.

"Twitter needs to take responsibility for the platform it is providing to known terrorists and cease and desist immediately. Their failure to do so exposes them to severe liability."

Earlier this year, Venture Beat notes, the group went after Facebook for user accounts promoting the Third Intifada, but did not carry out its threats.

This is not the first time Twitter has come under fire for terrorist accounts. The Daily Mail reports that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has tried to get the site to revise its policies to not allow such accounts as well.

But, Twitter hasn't budged. Daily Mail has more:

In a post entitled, "The Tweets Must Flow" this year the site announced, "We don't always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content."

CNN reports that Hezbollah-controlled al-Manar television has an account with 7,500 followers and notes that there are other accounts that could be considered manned by terrorists. Yet, when you try to find this account on Twitter, at least at the time of this posting, the account does not seem to exist. CNN has more:

Aden Fine, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told CNN that the Supreme Court "has not directly addressed the issue of whether any speech allegedly supportive of a designated terrorist organization is unlawful." But "the government can't force private companies to censor lawful speech just because the government doesn't like the speech or the people making the speech," he said.

CNN goes on to report Darshan-Leitner as saying that she hopes Twitter will change its policy since this information was brought to its attention.

Shurat HaDin's slogan is "Bankrupting terrorism, one lawsuit at a time."

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