Twitter announced today that it’s suing the federal government for the right to tell its users just how often the NSA and other security agencies force it to disclose their data, alleging that the government has been squashing its First Amendment rights with its overly restrictive rules.
It’s one of the more shocking and annoying paradoxes of the government’s PRISM spying program: Tech companies were forced to hand over users’ data, but couldn’t, even in broad terms, legally tell them that this was happening.
That changed back in January, when the US Department of Justice sent a letter to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Yahoo, telling the corporations the exact parameters under which it could disclose information about national security. Notably absent from the list? Twitter.
So, if you’re looking for an answer to the question posed in the headline up there, well, that’s it: Facebook, Google, and the other tech giants have already made their deal with the government and, let’s face it, it’s kind of useless.
So, Twitter is suing, and it’s asking for much more than the other companies settled for earlier this year.