Communications Minister Stephen Conroy accused on Wednesday a microblogging site of not cooperating with the Australian government due to Twitter's failure to turn over evidence on its probe of cyber abuse.
The case stemmed from Twitter trolls on some high-profile victims such as Rugby league star Robbie Farah who complained this week of a disgusting comment on his Twitter account on Sunday night with reference to the June death of his mother, Sonia.
Twitter is based in the United States and has a policy of handing over users' details to foreign authorities if requested through a U.S. court. The popular microblogging site, however, challenged a U.S. court order to provide prosecutors information about users.
Mr Conroy said as a giant company, Twitter has global responsibilities and should not treat sovereign nations in the manner the microblogging site is showing. He noted that Twitter is likewise treating U.S. laws also with contempt.
"It is unacceptable for Twitter to behave this way, to ignore Australians' concerns, to ignore the Australian government's concerns, and the Australian Federal Police's concerns. They should hand over the evidence needed to help prosecute people in these cases," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mr Conroy.
Mr Farah sought police help after he got a tweet sent from a deleted account with the Twitter handle @maxpower118 who said Sonia Farah should be jailed and do hard labour.
Ms Farah died of pancreatic cancer four days after Robbie played a starring role in New South Wales' epic Origin win over Queensland.
"I have to deal with the loss of my mother in the media spotlight throughout the Origin period and I am still struggling to deal with that. I just thought those moments were so deranged and I said to him I dare you to come and say that to my face," The Herald Sun quoted the athlete.
"Obviously it went viral pretty quick and people started to comment to him and abuse him and he shut down his own Twitter account," Mr Farah added.
Despite Twitter's hesitation in cooperating with governments, some Twitter users have been prosecuted by British authorities for their offending tweets on the popular microblogging site using British laws on things published in social networking sites.
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