SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Sighting need for to provide transparency to customers and the desire to express their free speech rights, Twitter is suing the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the right to disclose the exact number of court orders and security requests they get from the federal government.
“It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received. We should be free to do this in a meaningful way, rather than in broad, inexact ranges,” reads a blog post from Twitter explaining the legal action.
The company is seeking the right to publish its “full transparency report, which details provides specific details on the scope of federal monitoring.
“Our ability to speak has been restricted by laws that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider like us from disclosing the exact number of national security letters (“NSLs”) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) court orders received — even if that number is zero,” reads the Twitter post. “This is an important issue for anyone who believes in a strong First Amendment, and we hope to be able to share our complete Transparency Report,” reads the posting.
The suit was filed Tuesday in the San Francisco Division of the U.S. District Court – read the full complaint here.