Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the US government, pushing back against an apparent attempt to obtain information about an account that has criticised President Donald Trump’s administration.
In a case filed in a court in California on Thursday, Twitter said the US Department for Homeland Security and the US Customs and Border Protection were trying to “unmask” the identity of the Twitter account @ALT_USCIS, also known as “Alt immigration”.
Twitter argues that users are protected under the first amendment with the right to “anonymous or pseudonymous political speech”. It argues that the defendants, which also include John Kelly in his capacity as Secretary of Homeland Security, have not demonstrated an “appropriate basis” for impairing the first amendment interests of Twitter and its users.
The account, which is still live, describes itself as “immigration resistance” based in DC. It has tweeted on a range of subjects critical of the Trump administration, speaking out beyond immigration to subjects like healthcare and the President’s key advisors.
The US department for homeland security did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The customs agency said it could not comment on pending litigation.