Monday, May 7, 2018

How Customs and Border Protection Illegally Tried to Unmask a Rogue Twitter Account

When the Department of Homeland Security’s attempt to unmask an irksome Twitter account imploded last year, few within the agency were surprised, according to newly released records. “Why would we do this?” one official asked in early April 2017 after Twitter filed a complaint in federal court, according to the heavily redacted emails.

The short-lived investigation into @ALT_USCIS, an anonymous account that claims it’s run by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employee, sparked an uproar over First Amendment encroachments and potential abuses of power last year, including from members of Congress.

The new documents, released last week by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press after it sued the DHS and Customs and Border Protection, reveal a partial timeline of the abortive investigation. But more importantly, the emails show how a seemingly unsupervised CBP agent improperly attempted to force Twitter to produce records on a particular user without a court order — completely disregarding whether the summons was legal.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept

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