Anarchist arrested over Twitter use at G20


A NEW YORK-BASED anarchist has been arrested by the FBI and charged with hindering prosecutions after he allegedly used the social networking site Twitter to help protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh evade the police.

Elliot Madison (41), from Queens, had his home raided and was put on $30,000 (€21,000) bail after he and Michael Wallschlaeger (46) were tracked to the Carefree Inn motel in Pittsburgh during the summit on September 24th and 25th last.

The pair were found sitting in front of a bank of laptops and emergency frequency radio scanners. They were wearing headphones and microphones and had many maps and contact numbers.

Police documents allege the two men used Twitter messages “to inform the protesters and groups of the movements and actions of law enforcement”.

In all, almost 200 protesters were arrested during the summit, which brought world leaders to Pittsburgh to discuss the global economic meltdown. An estimated 5,000 protesters took part in demonstrations in the city.

Twitter has rapidly established itself as an important tool for protest groups and demonstrators. During the summit, the police monitored Twitter to listen in to protesters’ communications.

The FBI said that as well as the computers and scanning equipment discovered at the motel, they confiscated from Mr Madison’s home gas masks, goggles, test tubes and beakers. They said they also took away anarchist books and pictures of Marx and Lenin.

Mr Madison, a social worker, is said to be a member of the People’s Law Collective, a voluntary group that advises protesters on legal issues arising from actions. – ( Guardianservice)