Thursday, April 6, 2017

Twitter Blows the Whistle

SOON AFTER Donald Trump’s inauguration, persons critical of the president and his administration began creating anonymous Twitter accounts claiming to be dissident members of the federal government, such as the famous “Alt BLM” and “Rogue POTUS Staff” users. Today, Twitter is filing suit against the U.S. government, exposing an attempt to expose and attack one such account.


The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, says the @ALT_USCIS Twitter account is now being targeted by the Department of Homeland Security.


Twitter is now asking the court to declare that “the CBP Summons is unlawful and unenforceable because it violates the First Amendment rights of both Twitter and its users by seeking to unmask the identity of one or more anonymous Twitter users voicing criticism of the government on matters of public concern.”

  The Intercept
The case started when DHS filed a summons to have Twitter turn over all information about the account that was displeasing to the Inflatable Rooster.
Homeland Security further asked that Twitter keep the very existence of the summons secret, and added that “failure to comply with this summons will render you liable to proceedings in a U.S. District Court to enforce compliance with this summons as well as other sanctions.” When Twitter replied stating that such a demand would require a court order, Special Agent Adam Hoffman of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, in the companies words, that “no such court order would be obtained.” Strangely, the summons specified a deadline for disclosure of @ALT_USCIS’s user information that occurred the day before the summons was even faxed to Twitter.
The squeeze on democracy in America is going apace.  What will we use for an excuse for attacks by terrorists when we can no longer say they're jealous of our freedoms?
Regardless of the fact that many of these “alt accounts” appear to be individuals pretending to be members of a given federal agency, removing their anonymity simply because they are criticizing the president would be a devastating blow to Twitter’s ability to facilitate free speech.
Free speech is so pre- King George the W.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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