Twitter Sues Trump Administration

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The social media company also argues that the account is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The account is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Twitter, which has always been an advocate of Internet privacy, refused the government's request to identify the user, who posted an image of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution after the suit was filed Thursday.

In an interview, Bhandari said the rights of anonymous speakers were at risk if the government could demand information on their identities without any legal justification.

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The case had highlighted the administration's sensitivity to criticism from within the federal bureaucracy on Twitter feeds that mimic those of government agencies.

The U.S. government has backed off on its quest to make Twitter unmask an anonymous critic of President Donald Trump after the social media giant challenged a subpoena in federal court.

The Twitter account had 32,000 followers at the time of the court filing.

It further argues that if the government is successful on this summons, it could threaten other users' ability to be critical of the Trump administration anonymously.

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

The Department of Homeland Security asked Twitter to keep the summons under wraps, but when Twitter asked for a court order, they responded that "no such court order would be obtained". Twitter's defense: the First Amendment. The accounts, which include the Rouge National Park Service account and Alt Food and Drug Administration were created after a number of negative Trump tweets sent from government accounts were removed. "The First Amendment requires the government to have a very compelling reason for unmasking someone's identity".

The lawsuit follows discussions between Twitter and a US customs investigator over the appropriateness and lawfulness of the summons.

Although authorities retreated, the case has laid bare the broad power of the USA government to demand information from technology companies, sometimes with no oversight from the courts and often with built-in secrecy provisions that prevent the public from knowing what the government is seeking.

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