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Twitter challenges US order for anti-Trump user records

Twitter said it received a summons on March 14 to produce the name or names of the account holder, saying the document asked the company "not to disclose the existence of this summons for an indefinite period of time".

The social media company Twitter is suing the US government after denying a demand from the Trump administration that they disclose personal details of a Twitter account opposed to their policies.

As you probably know by now, there are a whole bunch of "alt" or "rogue" government Twitter accounts, initially inspired by what appeared to be tweets from a former National Parks Service employee containing "rogue" information against the Trump administration.

The Trump administration ordered Twitter to reveal the identity behind this anonymous account.

The summons threatened to take Twitter to court if it failed to comply with the order. As grounds for the summons, CBP cites a law giving it the ability to make such requests as part of investigations pertaining to "the importation of merchandise" and the thereof.

The @ALT_USCIS account explicitly says that it does not represent "the views of DHS or USCIS". Similar accounts popped up in early January after the National Park Service's official Twitter account began sending out a succession of climate science facts, which was interpreted as an implicit criticism of Trump, and was seemingly silenced for doing so.

The Twitter account in question is @ALT_uscis, as in "alternative U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services".

The @Alt_USCIS account is one of many "alternative government" accounts that have been popping up since President Trump's election.

Twitter, which has always been an advocate of Internet privacy, refused the request to unmask the user.

Identifying the user "would chill the expression of particularly valuable political speech", Twitter says. Twitter says the DHS tried to unmask the user behind this account, which has "expressed dissent in a range of different ways", including this early tweet that "the author apparently believed cast doubt on the Administration's immigration policy". The account also posted a screengrab of the First Amendment and later joked, "This is one way to get verified".

The American Civil Liberties Union said it, too, would be going to court "to defend this user's right to anonymous speech".

The post Twitter rejects USA effort to unmask anti-Trump users appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

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