Twitter threatens to sue Obama administration over government surveillance requests

“Twitter says it is prepared to sue the Obama administration for the right to disclose more details about government surveillance requests,” Julian Hattem reports for The Hill.

“In a blog post on Thursday, the head of global legal policy for the micro-blogging website said a recent agreement between tech groups and the Justice Department did not go far enough to address the company’s concerns,” Hattem reports. “‘We think the government’s restriction on our speech not only unfairly impacts our users’ privacy, but also violates our First Amendment right to free expression and open discussion of government affairs,’ Jeremy Kessel wrote. ‘Therefore, we have pressed the U.S. Department of Justice to allow greater transparency, and proposed future disclosures concerning national security requests that would be more meaningful to Twitter’s users. We are also considering legal options we may have to seek to defend our First Amendment rights.'”

“Companies have said that consumers around the world trust them less because they don’t know the extent to which they are handing information over to the government,” Hattem reports. “Twitter did not release information about the national security requests it had received. It has seen a steady increase in the number of other government requests about users’ accounts it has received in the last two years, it said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Visit the Apple-backed today.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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    1. While I don’t agree that it should be, the Supreme Court has held otherwise.

      As long as we, through, can’t execute a corporation for causing the death of a citizen, they’re not part of “We, the People”, IMHO.

    2. Chief Justice Waite’s 1886 ruling on Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad:-

      “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”

      It’s been used time and again to rule that corporations are entitled to rights granted to individuals under the US Constitution.

    3. government is made up of humans but has, in the past, acted with inhumanity ..though comprised of intellectual humans, has often been idiotic …though endowed by the states with certain authority, has, in the past, acted in a lawless manner and with impunity ..has used its authority as a weapon …though made up of humans, often acts like godzilla. and though it may think it deserves an iWatch on the taxpayer dime, does not ..nor does it deserve lavish extravaganzas in las vegas. government needs to take a civics class.

    4. Twitter is not claiming that the Bill of Rights to applies to the Twitter corporation, but rather to their users. They are claiming that the government is breaking the law, or the Bill of Rights, and that is impacting Twitter corp in a negative way.

    5. If I make an agreement with another group of people to perform a particular task for me, why would that not be covered by the Bill of Rights. That group of people (Twitter) is an extension of my person.
      Basic simple logic and reason. Where has it gone?

      Thank you again MDN for the Ben Franklin quote.
      Somehow our nation seems to have strayed so far from principles and values that our nations founders thought were important. Somehow in our ‘more enlightened wisdom’ we seem to have become fools.

  1. Even the sentiment makes me proud to be a Twitter user. Personally I think it’s all a mute point – by the time the public thinks it is having a “discussion” about these things it’s usually a done deal long ago. Kind of like the military and general technology, the military is about 10 years ahead of what the consuming public has access to, something like that. But hey, absolutely, do try.

  2. A nice gesture but I think it’s going to take more than just a lawsuit to regain the morality that the US once had. It’s an important step none the less for the very weee weeee weee people that inhabit this now terrorist nation.

  3. The problem is that the US citizenry bought into the policy of give up a little freedom for greater security following 9-11, as highlighted by the Patriot Act. Now that we’re further from teh fear 9-11 created, people are starting to realize the damage that was done by giving in to that fear and granting the government more power. However, taking that power away once granted is very difficult.

    1. Much as I loathe the so-called ‘Patriot Act’, it specifically protected Fourth Amendment citizen rights. Mass surveillance of US citizen on US soil is NOT provided by the Patriot Act. What we’re seeing is a paranoid, rogue government deliberately going too far, and they know it.

  4. The bulk of the powers that be on both sides of the aisle are in support of/afraid to oppose/or resigned to the highly illegal NSA spying and the further abuse by the information being shared with law enforcement all over.

    Read how the NSA is giving your phone records to the DEA. And the DEA is covering it up at WaPo.

    It just gets worse and worse.

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