Posted by News Express | 7 April 2017 | 1,311 times
Twitter on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Donald Trump administration because of the White House’s attempt to expose the user behind an account critical of the president.
The account in question has the Twitter handle @ALT_USCIS and is operated by anonymous critics of Trump’s immigration and deportation policies.
Describing itself as “immigration resistance” in its profile, the account claims to be an “alternative” to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
“The rights of free speech afforded Twitter’s users and Twitter itself under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech,” Twitter’s lawyers wrote in the complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.
On March 14, Twitter revealed, a representative from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unit of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which also oversees the USCIS, delivered a summons demanding Twitter unmask the person behind the @ALT_USCIS account.
The summons is illegal, the social media platform contended.
“In these circumstances, 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 company’s attorneys maintained. “But Defendants have not come close to making any of those showings.”
The agencies in question refused to comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation. The @ALT_USCIS account tweeted the language of the First Amendment soon after news of the lawsuit. (Anadolu Agency)
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