[JURIST] Twitter, Inc. [corporate website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against the US government challenging an order to release the identity of the user operating an anti-Trump Twitter account (@ALT_uscis) [Twitter profile]. This account describes itself as “immigration resistance” and is openly critical of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] and the Trump administration, and it is claimed to be operated by employees of the US Citizen and Immigration Service [official websites] within DHS. In the complaint Twitter asserted, “The rights of free speech afforded Twitter’s users and Twitter itself under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech.” Twitter requests that the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] declare the government’s request unlawful under both Twitter’s and the user’s First Amendment rights.
The use of communication surveillance continues to be a security rights issue in many countries. In January Twitter released [JURIST report] two warrantless surveillance orders from the Bederal Bureau of Investigation requesting user data that may have overstepped legal guidelines. In January the European Commission proposed rules [JURIST report] to bolster electronic communications as well as to “create new possibilities to process communication data and reinforce trust and security.” The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled [JURIST report] in December that “[g]eneral and indiscriminate retention” of e-mails and other electronic communications by governments is illegal, in a decision that many believe could create an opportunity for challenges to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill. A federal judge in November rejected [JURIST report] the New York Police Department’s proposed settlement of a lawsuit accusing the department of improperly surveying the Muslim community.