Twitter sues government to stop unmasking of anti-Trump account

by Linda Olson April 7, 2017, 2:16
Twitter sues government to stop unmasking of anti-Trump account

Many of those rogue accounts are questionable in nature and likely fake, rather than being actually run by employees of the parts of the government they claim to represent.

The "investigation of the @ALT_uscis account plainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the importation of merchandise into the United States", Twitter's lawyers wrote.

In response to the Trump administration's attempts to unmask an account that is critical of the president, Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) filed a lawsuit against the US government on Thursday. The account described its users to The Associated Press in February as employees and former employees of the agency.

Twitter, which has always been an advocate of Internet privacy, refused the request to unmask the user.

The Trump administration didn't want the public to know it had commanded Twitter to share the information.

Twitter has sued the US Department of Homeland Security over its demands that the microblogging site unmask an anonymous anti-Trump account.

The suit names DHS Secretary John F. Kelly, along with acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McCaleenan and two other agency officials.

Arsenal fight back to draw with Man City
Stewart Robson believes Arsene Wenger's "ego" will keep him at Arsenal following this season to maintain the status quo. Overall I felt it was a mental test and overall you could see the team was touched on the confidence front.

However, the filing of the suit seems to have emboldened the people behind the account, which now boasts the US Constitution's First Amendment as its pinned tweet.

The company said it received an administrative summons last month demanding that it provide records related to the account.

Twitter said its users have a constitutional right to disseminate such "anonymous and pseudonymous political speech". "Permitting CBP to pierce the pseudonym of the @ALT_USCIS account would have a grave chilling effect on the speech of that account in particular and on the many other "alternative agency" accounts that have been created to voice dissent to government policies", it added.

The move was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"The objective of this request appears to be, and the effect of Twitter's complying with it likely would be, to enable or help to enable Defendants to pierce the anonymity of the person or persons who established and use the @ALT_USCIS account", the 25-page lawsuit states. The social media platform is apparently willing to go up against the feds in court in order to protect its users' privacy.

A CBP spokeswoman said Thursday the agency does not comment on pending litigation.


TOP News

YouTube TV rolls out in five cities with free Chromecast offer
Google is also throwing in access to original programming that was previously tied to the YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube TV is ready to take on the likes of Sling TV and PlayStation Vue-at least in a handful of markets.

IISc Bangalore best university in India, IIT Madras top engg school
The Framework was approved by the MHRD and launched by Minister of Human Resource Development on 29 September 2015. IIM Ahmedabad obtained the maximum points among the management institutes across the country.

WS Atkins Shares Jump On Possible SNC-Lavalin Offer
Atkins told the City the two companies were in talks after SNC-Lavalin offered Atkins 2,080p for every share of the company. Regulators halted trading in SNC shares (TSX:SNC) in Toronto before markets opened Monday, pending news from the company.

Government share in Lloyds dips below 2%
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LYG. EPS growth in next year is estimated to reach 0.00% while EPS growth estimate for this year is set at 284.80%.

Body-camera maker offers 1-year trial to police agencies
A United States company is offering up body cams to every police officer in the country, free of charge for one year . Axon's programs could also automate writing report, transcribing lengthy interviews and other time-consuming tasks.

'Game of Thrones' season 7 teaser out
Where do you think Dany is sitting on her throne? And, the ominous Night King , head of the White Walkers, isn't too far behind. A set of candles blow out, and Cersei exhales so we can see her breath, meaning it's already quite cold in King's Landing.

Train derails at NYC's Penn Station; no injuries reported
On Tuesday, the NJ Transit announced it was still delayed and operating on a holiday schedule, further enraging the baseball buff. While some minor injuries came as a result of Monday's New Jersey Transit derailment, it also left people stranded.

NZer who drowned in NSW floods was 'trying to save her children'
There are fears the driver, believed to be a woman, and child may still be trapped in the vehicle , which has disappeared. The community is in mourning after the three bodies were found in the river near Tumbulgum yesterday morning.

Equal Pay Day Hypocrisy
Women in that age group earned 90 cents to the dollar earned by men, compared to the 67 cents they earned in 1980. That would mean more money to pay off student loans, put food on the table, and save for retirement.

Last Fed meeting's minutes show talk of paring bond holdings
"Several participants now anticipated that meaningful fiscal stimulus would likely not begin until 2018", the minutes said. Treasury yields initially rose sharply after the release of the minutes but reversed course.