US Government Backs Down from User Privacy Lawsuit Versus Twitter
Ron Perillo / 3 years ago
A few days ago, its been reported that the US Government, specifically the Customs and Border Protection agency was demanding the identity of a specific user be revealed by Twitter through an administrative summons, citing a federal law granting border officials the power to investigate importation taxes. This user has been posting responses to anti-Trump policies under the handle @ALT_uscis, parodying the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Twitter account. Twitter for their part however, refused to do so and filed a lawsuit to counter the summons in San Francisco, stating in the filing documents that beyond that boilerplate language, the Customs and Border Protection Summons provides no justification for issuance of a summons targeting the @ALT_USCIS account.
Twitter does not believe that the issue was really about investigation of importation taxes and that this was an abuse of power by the CBP. “Defendants could not plausibly establish that they issued the CBP Summons—which demands “[a]ll records regarding the [T]witter account @ALT_USCIS to include User names, account login, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and I.P. addresses”—in any investigation or inquiry relating to the import of merchandise.”
After the counter suit and the coverage on media about the privacy matter, the US government has finally backed down and withdrew the summons, ending the dispute.