Twitter said it received a summons on March 14 demanding that it provide records that would unmask the @ALT_uscis account
This Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, photo shows a sign at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Twitter defied a U.S. government request for records that could identify the owner of an anti-Trump account, and is challenging the order in court. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu), photo: AP/Jeff Chiu
10 months ago
NEW YORK – Twitter defied a U.S. government request for records that could identify users behind an account opposed to President Donald Trump, and is challenging that order in court. The company filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco against the federal Department of Homeland Security and its Customs and Border Protection office, charging that their efforts to "unmask" the people behind the account violate the First Amendment. Twitter said its users have a constitutional right to disseminate such "anonymous and pseudonymous political speech." It declined to comment beyond the lawsuit. DHS likewise declined to comment. THE "ALTERNATIVE" FEDERAL GOVERNMENT The account in question is @ALT_uscis , a reference to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. The account described its users to reporters in February as employees and former employees of the agency.
In the two months it has been created, the account has been critical of the Trump administration's immigration policies and "highlighted what the user views as a history of waste and mismanagement within USCIS and DHS," according to the lawsuit. It is one of dozens of rogue Twitter accounts purporting to represent current or former government employees that have sprung up since Trump took office. Other such "alternative" — or "alt" — accounts include @Alt_CDC for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and @AltUSEPA for the Environmental Protection Agency. The latter dubs itself "The Unofficial 'Resistance' team of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
FYI, some refugees became refugees out of fear of being unmasked by dictators because of dissent/opposing views . Lets not have that here.— ALT🛂 Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 6, 2017