Twitter releases letters that reveal extent of US Government’s demands for user data

Twitter on Saturday became the latest tech giant after Yahoo, Cloud flare and Google to release national security letters (NSLs) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that forced them to reveal user data to the government.

The tech companies have been speaking up since the last eight months about the NSLs “that came with gag orders that prevented Twitter from telling the public or the targeted users about the government’s demands in two letters it received in 2015 and 2016”, Tech Crunch reported.

The FBI recently lifted these gag orders, allowing Twitter to acknowledge the NSLs for the first time.

In the newly published NSLs, the FBI asked Twitter to turn over “the name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records” of two users.

The micro-blogging site said it gave a “very limited set of data” in response to the requests and demanded more freedom in keeping their point.

“Twitter remains unsatisfied with restrictions on our right to speak more freely about national security requests we may receive, Twitter associate general counsel Elizabeth Banker wrote in a blog post.

“We would like a meaningful opportunity to challenge government restrictions when ‘classification’ prevents speech on issues of public importance,” Banker added.

Twitter has already disclosed these two letters and informed the targeted users and is suing the Department of Justice in an effort to speak more publicly about secret requests for user data.

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