Mixed message as Twitter loses quest to reveal surveillance requests

A federal district judge rejected Twitter’s six -year old lawsuit brought to provide its users with information about how many federal surveillance requests it receives. The FBI classifies statistics on demands Twitter receives through National Security Letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Warrants. But in her ruling, the judge said she could see no reason the government could prevent Twitter from disclosing the information. “The Court has never found the Government’s logic persuasive on this point. The requirement not to disclose a particular order is completely distinct from disclosing the aggregate number of orders,” U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote. (Politico, April 18, 2020, by Josh Gerstein)

Twitter tweeted its dismay over the judge’s ruling. “Transparency is a key principle in our mission to serve the public conversation. It’s vital that the public sees the demands we receive and how we work to strike a balance between local law, supporting people’s ability to tweet and protecting people from harm.” (ADWEEK, April 20, 2020, by David Cohen)

For related FAC coverage, click here and here.