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Twitter surrenders data in French anti-Semitism litigation

July 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM

PARIS, July 12 (UPI) -- Twitter says it has settled ongoing litigation with an activist group and French authorities, surrendering some data on users over anti-Semitic tweets.

Twitter's decision to settle out of court comes after a drawn-out battle with the Union of Jewish Students, a French activist group, over a series of anti-Semitic tweets in 2012 attached to a hashtag, #unbonjuif (#agoodJew,) All Things D reported Friday.

"Further to discussions between the Parties and in response to a valid legal request, Twitter has provided the prosecutor of Paris ... with data that may enable the identification of certain users that the Vice-Prosecutor believes have violated French law," a Twitter spokesman said in a joint statement with the activist group.

French authorities, now in possession of both the offensive tweets and the data on users who tweeted them, can decide if they want to pursue prosecution.

French law specifically bans anti-Semitic and other forms of hate speech.

Union of Jewish Students President Jonathan Hayoun said Twitter's delivery of the information was "a great victory in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism" and "a big step in the fight against the feeling of impunity on the Internet."

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