The U.S. government has ended its effort to force Twitter to identify who is behind an account critical of President Donald Trump.
After the announcement, Twitter said it has cancelled a lawsuit against the U.S. government. Twitter had been planning to claim that federal officials did not have the power to force it to reveal the account owners.
The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection had sought the identity of the users of the Twitter account @ALT_USCIS
The account describes itself as “immigration resistance.” In February, its creators told the Associated Press news agency that they are current and former employees of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Almost 9,000 messages have been sent by the account since it was created in January, the month Trump took office.
It is one of several accounts that reportedly have been created by former or current federal employees who oppose Trump.
It is not known why the government cancelled its effort to identify the creator or creators of the Twitter account. And it is not known if the government has also ended its own investigation into who is operating the account.
The American Civil Liberties Union called the government’s decision to withdraw its request a “big victory for free speech and the right to dissent.”
Friday, the account tweeted: “We want to thank @twitter and @aclu for standing up for the right of free anonymous speech. Thank you resistance for standing up for us.”
News reports about the account have helped it sharply increase the number of people who are following it. @ALT_USCIS now has more than 192,000 followers.
Words in This Story
reveal – v. to make (something) known
account – n. an arrangement in which a person uses the Internet or e-mail services of a particular company
resistance – n. effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something
dissent – v. to publicly disagree with an official opinion, decision, or set of beliefs
anonymous – adj. not named or identified