Twitter’s big into transparency and freedom of speech. In July they published their fifth transparency report, a bi-annual update which provides insights into global government and copyright requests they receive, and they’ve long pushed the mantra that the “tweets must flow” (although they’re not exactly consistent here).
In their last transparency report Twitter noted that they were “prohibited from reporting on the actual scope of surveillance of Twitter users by the U.S. government”, and that their ability to speak freely was being restricted. Accordingly, Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the United States government that asks the federal court to declare these restrictions as unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
You can read the filing here.
“We’ve tried to achieve the level of transparency our users deserve without litigation, but to no avail,” writes Ben Lee, VP, Legal at Twitter. “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,” he added.
(Source: Twitter Blog.)