Sci-tech

Twitter challenges US order for anti-Trump user records

Twitter challenges US order for anti-Trump user records

Twitter's lawsuit is a notable continuation of its greater willingness than other tech companies to resist the new administration's policies.

Who is behind a popular Twitter account that has been critical of the Trump administration?

Twitter says that on March 14 the government faxed a summons ordering the company to produce records disclosing "User names, account login, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and I.P. addresses" for the account on March 13 - the day before the summons was sent.

Twitter argued in the lawsuit that the government's request is a threat to free speech, which includes "a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech". Documents supporting the Twitter accountholder's right to speak anonymously online will be filed in the next few days, said Esha Bhandari, a staff attorney for the ACLU.

Twitter said it also feared that the government wants to punish the person or people responsible for the account.

The American Civil Liberties Union previously pledged to represent the person running the Twitter account in court, and Twitter warned of the potential chilling effects on free speech this CBP demand could have.

Following Trump's election, a handful of popular "rogue" Twitter accounts sprang up, purporting to be run by disgruntled employees of federal agencies. However, the administration may care less about follower counts and more about cracking down on leakers. "#MuslimBan", the account tweeted.

Here is what the account claimed in the days before the summons. He would rather employees chant pro-Trump mantras and he sees them as leaks.

The post Twitter rejects United States effort to unmask anti-Trump users appeared first on The Independent Uganda:. A copy of the summons, filed alongside Twitter's lawsuit, claims that the reasons for needing the account's details are to ensure it complies with custom and immigration matters, including duties, taxes and fines. The once-public tweets had been deleted, and prosecutors wanted them handed over to use as evidence against the suspect. In that case, Twitter eventually handed over information after it was threatened with sanctions.

According to Twitter's court filings, Homeland Security is "unlawfully abusing a limited-purpose investigatory tool" to find out who is behind the @ALT_USCIS account.

That distinction has privacy advocates optimistic that Twitter's new case will be more successful.


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