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Twitter publishes FBI national security letters following gag order lift

Twitter has published a pair of FBI National Security Letters that had been served with gag orders. The company announced in a blog post that the gag order has been lifted.

In its statement, Twitter’s Associate General Counsel for Global Law Enforcement Elizabeth Banker outlined that the company had been prohibited from notifying the affected accounts or the general public about the existence of the orders.

The letters were sent in September 2015 and June 2016, and directed Twitter to provide the FBI with the “name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records for all services, as well as all accounts,” pertaining two two accounts. Both letters instruct the company not to turn over the content of those accounts.

The letters also specified that Twitter was not to “disable, suspend, lock, cancel or interrupt service” to either account, on fears that the users would become aware that they were under investigation.

Last year, Yahoo and Google revealed that they had been subjected to similar letters, which requested information from several redacted accounts.

In its statement, Twitter noted that it “remains unsatisfied with restrictions on our right to speak more freely about national security requests we may receive,” and that the company was working through lawsuits to speak more freely. The next hearing in its case will take place on February 14th, 2017.


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