The ACLU/EFF brief described the subpoenas as "woefully overbroad," and in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. Evidently, the San Francisco DA agreed.
In a disturbing trend that can have a chilling effect on free speech, law enforcement agencies around the country are seeking wide-ranging information about the social networking activity of political activists. The San Francisco District Attorney recently issued subpoenas to Twitter for tweets by two political protesters, Lauren Smith and Robert Donohoe, who had been charged with rioting and unlawful assembly during a Columbus Day demonstration last year. They had been active on Twitter but disabled their accounts after the protest. The ACLU and EFF filed a brief in support of the protesters' motion to quash the subpoenas.