2 May 2016
A US court won’t let Twitter reveal government snoop requests. The US District Court of Northern California shot down the microblogging site’s argument that it be allowed to publish exact details on the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and National Security Letter (NSL) requests it gets from authorities.
The court ruled that Twitter’s request to include exact figures on FISA and NSL requests under the First Amendment was not valid as the letters in question are considered to be classified information, and therefore not protected under First Amendment rights.
A Letter I Hope We Never Receive:
A letter has been issued concerning your anti-government attitude but the contents are classified. Further actionable findings are classified. The arrival and purpose of the visit of two federal security agents with your employer and their instructions concerning employment of persons of suspect loyalties are classified. The reasons and determinations of your discharge and the denial of unemployment benefits remain under seal. Your arraignment in federal court is pending, but the hearing will be closed and the transcript sealed. Sentencing guidelines are classified. The length of imprisonment is indeterminate. Parole hearings are denied for undisclosed reasons.
The government imposes no restriction on your exercise of Constitutionally-assured First Amendment freedom of expression. Please understand, however, that with Freedom comes Accountability. Authoritative studies of persons making anti-government statements, apparently harboring seditious attitudes, establish probable potential for domestic terrorism. Proofs are conclusive, but remain classified. Preemptive intervention is authorized, but triggering parameters for suppression and incarceration remain classified for reasons of national security. All such instances remain ineligible for appeal or review. No record of such instances occurring may be released. It never happened. It cannot be appealed.