Feds drop request of Twitter to unveil Trump critic

Tweet from @ALT_uscis

It is one of a number of ALT accounts that are run by insiders who object to the Trump administration to place gag orders on accounts of various government agencies in the USA, including the National Park Service. The account described its users to The Associated Press in February as employees and former employees of the agency.

The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the government's decision to back down, tweeting: "Big victory for free speech and right to dissent". Bhandari represents the unidentified person or people behind the Twitter account. "That is important or people would be chilled from speaking out, particularly when they are speaking out against the government". Such accounts have been established by dissidents at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, among other elements of the government. She noted that the government's summons to Twitter had boilerplate language but lacked a specific reason for wanting to know the identities. "Thank you resistance for standing up for us".

So when Twitter received DHS's order, which allegedly requested the user's name, login information, phone number, mailing address, and IP address, the company refused to comply and sought to have the agency's actions declared "unlawful and "unenforceable" in court".

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The Justice Department told Twitter on Friday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn its March 13 summons, "and that the summons no longer has any force or effect".

In its lawsuit, Twitter claimed the government can not compel the company to disclose users' identities without first meeting several tests.

But the federal agencies and other defendants "have not come close" to demonstrating any of this, the lawsuit states.

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Twitter went to court in San Francisco to block the move, saying the CBP was "abusing a limited-purpose investigatory tool" and stifling freedom of speech.

At least three senators aren't letting the issue drop and are challenging the Trump crew over its action last month issuing a summons in a bid to unmask Twitter customers.

In 2014, Twitter sued the USA government (under President Barack Obama) seeking to publish its full "transparency report" outlining government requests for information.

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