Social Media

Twitter Sues U.S. Government for Demanding Data on Anti-Trump Account

Twitter has filed suit against the U.S. government, after the White House tried to force the social media firm to hand over the identity of the person behind an anti-Donald Trump account.

@ALT_USCIS, the account in question, was created after the inauguration of the president to give a voice to federal employees who disagree with Trump’s immigration policies. The user-provided description on the account described its user(s) as “official inside resistance.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 7.21.03 AMIn the two months the account has existed, @ALT_USCIS has attracted more than 102,000 followers and has issued more than 8,000 tweets.

Twitter, in its lawsuit, is asking a federal court to support the free speech of its users and not force the company to hand over the identities of users to the Department of Homeland and the US Customs and Border Protection.

The demand for Twitter to open up its records so the government could learn the account holder’s identity came from the US Customs and Border Protections on March 14.

Twitter, in its complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, calls the order “unlawful” because it “demands production of records that CBP is not authorized to obtain.” The company adds that the order “exceeds the scope” of the CBP’s authority.

“Defendants may not compel Twitter to disclose information regarding the real identities of these users without first demonstrating that some criminal or civil offense has been committed, that unmasking the users’ identity is the least restrictive means for investigating that offense, that the demand for this information is not motivated by a desire to suppress free speech, and that the interests of pursuing that investigation outweigh the important First Amendment rights of Twitter and its users,” the document reads.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it will represent the Twitter user in court if necessary.

“We have seen no reason the government has given for seeking to unmask this speaker’s identity,”  ACLU attorney Esha Bhandari tells Reuters.

The Department of Homeland Security and CBP have both declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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  • I guess twitter shouldn’t do this. Trump shouldn’t be winning here atleast!