Twitter sues feds over attempt to identify anti-Trump account

Twitter rejects US effort to unmask anti Trump users

Twitter rejects US effort to unmask anti Trump users

The account, whose managers have identified themselves as current and former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) staffers, has posted messages critical of Trump's policies since his January inauguration.

But its primary objection, the company said, is that allowing the government to unmask Twitter critics is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment right to free speech.

Twitter Inc. Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the government tried to force the social media platform to reveal the identity of one of its users.

Not only was the government abusing that tool, but its attempts violate Twitter users' First Amendment rights to disseminate anonymous or pseudoanymous political speech, the suit argues. But Defendants have not come close to making any of those showings.

The Justice Department, which typically represents federal agencies in court, also declined to comment.


Twitter said it received a summons on March 14 demanding that it provide records that would unmask the @ALT_uscis account, such as user names, account login phone numbers, mailing addresses and computer IP addresses.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also pledged to join the fight, claiming it will "be going to court to defend this user's right to anonymous speech". Media reports this morning revealed that Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, resisting attempts to get details of an account that has been a loud critic of the Trump administration on immigration issues and the Mexican wall plan.

The order said that failure to comply with the summons could result in Twitter being taken to federal court, according to the suit.

The Department of Homeland Security, which issued the summons, has declined to comment.

"We're glad Twitter is pushing back", the civil rights group tweeted. Nearly instantly, a whole bunch of so-called "rogue" Twitter accounts claiming to be run by government employees popped up and started posting anti-Trump stuff. According to Twitter, the CPB bizarrely justified its order by citing a statue concerning imported merchandise. So you see, the unmasking of the persona behind the account would be a big thing - more so considering that it has vehemently criticized numerous policies that the department has been implementing.

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