Twitter Sues Federal Government
Tech companies have complained about federal government demands for information on their customers and insistence that the companies tell no one about it (or else). Some, like google">Google, Apple and LinkedIn, have even tried to push back. The latest to do so: twitter">Twitter, which is taking the federal government to court saying its demands are a restriction in the company's First Amendment rights:
"In the case of Twitter, their posts are public, they don't actually get that many requests that are related to national security, so they want to make that clear to users. In April, Twitter sent the government a draft copy of its July transparency report asking if it could be reviewed for publication. They were told they couldn't publish it. Twitter is saying this is what we call 'prior restraint,' it's a gag order under our First Amendment. Before we even speak, our First Amendment is violated. So they are asking now in court to be able to say more."
Twitter's odds of winning in court are uncertain. Google and others who have sued the federal government ended up settling their cases out of court. The government still demands information from them, but the companies can give users a general idea of how many times the government has asked for information.
In other words, it's a battle of inches, and there are still miles to go before Big Brother's prying eyes are closed.