The 2014 lawsuit followed months of unsuccessful negotiations for greater transparency in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks revealing much about US surveillance activities, including online. Twitter, along with other internet giants, had argued that providing more details would help users understand government activity and protect freedom of expression. The government’s argument appears to revolve around concerns that exact numbers would reveal specific activity, such as investigation into particular terrorist cells. True or not, it’s clear the row over transparency isn’t over even with this ruling.
Transparency is a key guiding principle in Twitter’s mission to serve the public conversation. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of why we exist, and we strive at all times to help those who use our service and the general public understand how governments, including in the United States, interact with our company. We believe it is vital that the public see the demands we receive, and how we work to strike a balance between respecting local law, supporting people’s ability to Tweet, and protecting people from harm.
“To that end, in 2014 we brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government, challenging its efforts to restrain what Twitter can and cannot say to the public about law enforcement requests for information about those who use Twitter. While we are disappointed with the Court’s decision, we will continue to fight for transparency. We encourage those who use our service and the public to review our biannual Transparency Report to learn more about our efforts.
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