(RepublicanView.org) – The United States Supreme Court turned down an appeal submitted by X, formerly Twitter, on January 8 that would have allowed the platform to release FBI requests for customer data.
The decision comes nearly ten years after X initially filed a lawsuit against the government in 2014. They were blocked from releasing the number of times that officials at the FBI demanded that the platform hand over massive volumes of private data. They originally planned to publish it as part of the company’s “Transparency Report” that is released twice each year.
X initially moved to have the information revealed the year after whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged that the NSA was collecting and storing massive amounts of data on US citizens. X also wanted to reveal the number of requests from other federal government agencies.
X echoed the original argument that such inhibitions are a violation of the First Amendment, making them unlawful. The platform’s lawyers expressed the importance of making the scope of the federal government’s level of surveillance “clear, settled, and constitutionally adequate.” They also said that the extent of surveillance paves the path for more government abuse in the future.
The appeal came after two lesser courts ruled in favor of the FBI. They said that it had the legal right to prevent X from releasing the number of requests made to the public for their data. The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also claimed that barring the information from public view served the interests of national security.
Elon Musk released the “Twitter files” shortly after taking over the platform in 2022. The documents highlight the alleged relationship between the FBI and the social media giant. Matt Taibbi, a tech writer, claimed it was as if Twitter was a “subsidiary” of the federal government. The files also alleged that accounts could be investigated just for publishing jokes even if the owner was not suspected of breaking laws.
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