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White House tries to force Twitter to unmask anti-Trump account

(Photo: Getty Images, Drew Angerer)

Shortly after Donald Trump came to power in January, the Twitter account for the National Parks Service was briefly shut down when it “accidentally” shared posts that acknowledged how small the crowd was for his inauguration. Almost instantly, a whole bunch of so-called “rogue” Twitter accounts claiming to be run by government employees popped up and started posting anti-Trump stuff. Most of them were probably fake, but one of these “rogue” accounts has actually drawn the ire of the Trump administration.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Government is trying to force Twitter to reveal who posts from an account called @ALT_uscis, which is supposedly run by someone who works for U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services. Twitter has refused to comply, and the company has filed a lawsuit that points out that the First Amendment gives it and its users “a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech” without having to answer to the government. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the anonymous Twitter user in this case, and that organization said in a statement that it has “seen no reason the government has given for seeking to unmask this speaker’s identity.”


According to Twitter’s lawsuit, it received a summons last month that demanded it name the user as part of “an investigation to ensure compliance with duties, taxes, and fines and other customs and immigration matters,” which the company recognized as being a whole bunch of bullshit. The Reuters story doesn’t say if the Trump administration has responded, but @ALT_uscis is definitely enjoying the noteriety. Since news of the lawsuit came out, the account has gotten a huge surge of new followers, and it currently has this little dig as a pinned tweet:

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