photo credit: dbking (from Wikimedia Commons)
When the news broke a few days ago that Twitter had successfully challenged a gag order in the federal government's investigation into the WikiLeaks case, it was a reminder that the Bay Area is on the front lines of the battle to protect our First Amendment rights in the digital age.
A federal grand jury in Virginia had subpoenaed user account data from Twitter about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, among others, as part of its probe into how that large trove of classified records recently became public.
Twitter has a company policy of informing users before complying with court orders such as this one, which is significant because that allows the user to exercise the legal right to challenge the subpoena in court, where it may get quashed for any number of reasons.
But since government investigators routinely request -- and get -- gag orders in these types of cases, Twitter was barred by law from telling Assange and the others involved in this particular case. So it fought back, and won what may prove to be an important legal precedent in the process.
My friend Carrie* doesn’t like to just sit around when there’s a problem that needs fixing. Thus when a bug eliminated all of her (and many others’) Twitter followers last year, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Using Google, she located the Twitter office on Folsom Street and set out for a visit, stopping by a local bakery along the way to buy several dozen cookies in the hope that they might her gain entrée to one of the hottest companies on the planet.
When she showed up at the social networking site’s front door, it was locked, but by lucky coincidence, someone just leaving the office held the door open to let her in.
Once inside, she stood in the entryway wondering what to do next.
After reporting on the publishing experiments turning up around San Francisco, we asked the city’s writers what they’re reading these days, and they were happy to share. Look for Required Reading every week.
While living in a remote tent camp in Alaska, Rodes Fishburne was left stranded for 21 days after a severe storm. During that time, the San Francisco author of Going to See the Elephant read War and Peace cover to cover―twice. These days, Fishburne tastes are entirely modern and tend toward much shorter reads, some just 140 characters long.
Just as news hit that Twitter launched an updated interface, word also broke that the social network's CEO and cofounder Ev Williams stepped down from his current post. Lucky for you, Ev will be joining Biz Stone in a candid conversation hosted by The Commonwealth Club's INFORUM division on Columbus Day to answer all of your most burning questions.
The label is called Fledgling and the wines are a Pinot and a Chardonnay. The partner in the project is Crushpad, SF's public, urban winery, where the wine is obviously going to be made. Of the $20 cost ($240 a case), $5 per bottle goes to the charity aimed at improving education in the developing world.
We suppose it was inevitable, especially after being featured in this month's Elle. Newsom's perfectly-coiffed hair (which everyone now knows can be credited to L'Oreal Total Control Clean Gel) now has a Twitter account.
Some of our favorite tweets include:
@newsomshair surrounded by fog??? And wishing he'd take me to the Britney Spears concert.
As 7x7.com readers were the first to know, Outside Lands' resident authority, Ranger Dave, has joined the Twitterverse and is eager to reward loyal followers. Yesterday marked Dave's first venture out into the streets of San Francisco, tweeting clues along the way regarding his mysterious whereabouts. He promised one lucky fan two 3-day passes to the must-see festival in Golden Gate Park, August 28-30, and he didn't disappoint.
At 1:16 PM on Monday, June 1, the lively cartoon ranger tweeted the following: "Ranger Dave is hitting the streets tomorrow. He will have 3-Day passes on him. Find Ranger Dave first and get two free!"