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Judge Bans Twittering in Court

While Twittering is somewhat of a craze, many are growing annoyed with the service. Recently the NFL banned players from twittering shortly before, during, and shortly after football games. Now a Georgia federal judge is jumping on the anti-twitter bandwagon, and will throw out any spectator sending live updates from a criminal trial.

According to CBS News, the judge uses Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as a basis for his Twitter defiance, claiming that live updates through Twitter are considered as a broadcast. "The Court finds that the term "broadcasting" in Rule 53 includes sending electronic messages from a courtroom that contemporaneously describe the trial proceedings and are instantaneously available for public viewing," he wrote in a four-page order last week (PDF).

The judge added that the drafters of Rule 53 intended to extend the Rule's reach beyond the transmission via television and radio. "Although "broadcasting" is typically associated with the dissemination of information via television or radio, its plain meaning is broader than that. The definition of "broadcast" includes "casting or scattering in all directions" and "the act of making widely known," he wrote.

With that said, it's no wonder why the NFL banned Twittering in games: they're mini-broadcasts that could easily drain revenue. But as for twittering during a trial, it would seem to be more of a privacy issue in regards to the defense and prosecution.

Those who are interested, can follow Tuan on Twitter.