According to a case filed this past Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, Twitter, Inc. is suing the U.S. Department of Justice. The social media company claims that it is being prevented from publishing a report that would inform its users of how their accounts are being monitored and how their personal data is being collected.
The report details how many Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders and National Security Letters (NSLs) Twitter, Inc. receives from the government. These orders allow the Department of Justice to secretly monitor accounts that it deems potential threats to national security.
According to a post published on on Twitter’s official blog,
We’ve tried to achieve the level of transparency our users deserve without litigation, but to no avail. In April, we provided a draft Transparency Report addendum to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a report which we hoped would provide meaningful transparency for our users. After many months of discussions, we were unable to convince them to allow us to publish even a redacted version of the report.
Meanwhile, we continue to look for comprehensive reform of government surveillance powers in the U.S., and we support meaningful efforts such as the USA Freedom Act of 2014 as introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), which would allow companies like Twitter to provide more transparency to its users.
Read the complaint here.