Twitter claims Trump's government is threatening free speech
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 7:18
Just yesterday, Twitter filed suit against the US government after the Department of Homeland Security sent the social media company a summons that sought any identifying information for an anonymous account that's been critical of Trump's immigration policies.
Twitter's lawsuit was very clear: The U.S. government can not compel the company to disclose the identity of any of its users without first proving that a criminal or civil offense has been committed, that it will not use said information to stifle free speech, and that the interests of the investigation outweigh First Amendment rights.
Twitter has dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government after the administration withdrew its demand for user data of an account critical of President Donald Trump's immigration policies. The account is allegedly one of several set up by people claiming to be ex-government employees or current employees, and is particularly critical of recent immigration policies. This is just one of many "rogue" accounts supposedly run by government employees at a variety of agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor.
The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president - a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit.
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".
Nick Pacilio, a Twitter spokesman, declined to comment whether the government had demanded information of other anti-Trump accounts. "To unmask an anonymous speaker online, the government must have a strong justification,"ACLU attorney Nathan Freed Wessler said".
The suit could portend a contentious battle between the social network and the US administration over efforts to crack down on government leaks.
Twitter argued that the "defendants have not come close to making any of those showings".
Twitter's lawsuit claims the request is illegal and also violates the First Amendment right of free speech.
This is not the first time Twitter sued a government agency. "We'll be going to court to defend this user's right to anonymous speech", the ACLUannounced on Twitter.