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Twitter sues Feds to lift gag on surveillance scope details

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 09 Oct 2014 0:56

Twitter sues Feds to lift gag on surveillance scope details Twitter has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California seeking a means to reveal the actual number of national security related information it requests it receives.
Internet services like Twitter and Facebook can currently only inform its users publicly of the total number of data/information requests it receives from law enforcement and government agencies. Essentially, this means that it lumps together the total number of requests it receives from law enforcement agencies (mission persons' investigations etc.) and from national security entities.

They are not legally allowed to reveal how many of the total number of requests and orders received are related to national security, even if the number is zero.

According to Twitter, the firm is entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users' concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance, including what types of legal process have not been received.

It has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California asking the court to declare these restrictions on its ability to speak about government surveillance as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Later this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will also consider the constitutionality of the non-disclosure provisions.

The complaint filed by Twitter names Eric Holder, the Department of Justice, James Comey and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as defendants.

You can read the complaint here: g.twimg.com (PDF)

Tags: Twitter
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