Sony threatens Twitter with lawsuit over hack tweets

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Sony has told Twitter it must suspend the accounts of people who posed hacked material from the movie studio and block those tweets — or face legal consequences.

David Boies, Sony’s top attorney, had already written to traditional news organizations, including CNN, asking them to stop examining and publicizing the corporate secrets that hackers have made public. The letter to Twitter, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, shows that Sony is trying to stop the spread of the hacked material via social networks as well.

Sony specifically cited one Twitter user who goes by the handle @BikiniRobotArmy, and asks that Twitter suspend his account.

Boies wrote that Sony “does not consent to Twitter’s or any Twitter account holder’s possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading, or making any use of the stolen information, and to request your cooperation in suspending the account holder’s Twitter account and the account of any other user seeking to disseminate the stolen information via Twitter.”

As of Tuesday morning the account was still active and the user, who identifies himself as Val Broeksmit, was posting tweets of support he was receiving.

“Today, we are all @BikiniRobotArmy,” tweeted one supporter.

The hacked material includes a wealth of embarrassing information about the operations of Sony Pictures, including negative comments about movie stars and details of pay agreements with various actors.

Boies’ letter argues that tweeting the hacked material not only violates U.S. law but also Twitter’s own terms of use, which prohibit publishing copyrighted materials, other people’s private and confidential information, as well as the use of Twitter for any unlawful purpose.

The Boies letter was posted by the Wall Street Journal. Spokespeople for Sony, Boies and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment early Tuesday.

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