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News Link • Homeland Security

Homeland Security has dropped its attempt to unmask anti-Trump Twitter account

• http://www.theverge.com, by Russell Brandom

In March, two agents of Customs and Border Protection had served Twitter with an order for IP logs, phone numbers, and other identifying information associated with the account. Twitter declined to comply with the request, and argued in its complaint that the order was unconstitutional, and relied on an unconventional statute insufficient for unmasking an individual user.

Now, that order is being withdrawn. Twitter learned of the withdrawal in a meeting with the Department of Justice earlier today, and has subsequently withdrawn its lawsuit. Reached by The Verge, the company declined to comment.

It's unclear whether the government will make further attempts to unmask the user. Because the March order was made by Customs agents, it relied on an unusual statute largely related to taxes on the importation of merchandise, which Twitter argued was insufficient. If the Department of Justice is committed to unmasking the user, it might request a court order for the same information under a statute that's more in-line with Twitter's law enforcement guidelines, which acknowledge that private information may be disclosed in response to a valid legal request.

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