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Twitter finally surrenders Occupy protester's tweets

Twitter has surrendered tweets from an Occupy Wall Street protestor to prosecutors, complying with a New York State Supreme Court deadline after initially refusing to hand them over.

After months of battling with the San Francisco-based microblogging company over three months' worth of tweets written by Malcolm Harris, Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. on Wednesday ordered that Twitter hand them over by 14 September. Harris allegedly failed to comply with police orders during an Occupy protest last year.

Harris's posts will remain sealed until the protester's appeal is argued next week, Reuters reported. His criminal trial is set to begin in December.

Twitter released the data just under the wire, avoiding a fine and possibly additional court time.

Several hundred protesters, including Harris, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in October, following a march onto the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. In January, the New York County District Attorney's Office requested that Twitter turn over Harris's email address and all tweets posted between 15 September and 31 December under the @destructuremal username.

The clash has played out this year, as Twitter first refused to comply with the subpoena, before the judge in April sided with the county, likening Harris's tweets to bank records. Twitter fought back by filing a motion to quash the judge's order, but was overruled. Following an August appeal, the company was once again defeated.

According to Reuters, Twitter's lawyers made a final attempt, asking the judge to stay his order, but he refused, and they gave up the documents.

The social media company in August complied with a court order to release data to New York authorities about a user who threatened to kill people at a Manhattan theater.

Twitter previously released its first transparency report in July, detailing global government data requests and takedown notices dating back to 1 January.