>> Twitter's suing the US government Thursday, saying it received a demand from the Trump Administration to turn over records that could reveal the user behind an account opposed to the president. Reuters correspondent, David Ingram, is in San Francisco where the lawsuit was filed.>> Twitter is challenging this demand from the government.
They say that this is a free speech issue, and that there is a long tradition of anonymous political speech that they want to stand up for. The user here is a frequent tweeter, tweeting at about 8,000 times over the past several weeks, and a lot of it is criticism of the president, who also happens to be a frequent user of Twitter.
This demand from the government was really unusual, according to the legal experts we have spoken with. The summons was issued by a presumably low-level agent, a customs official. The government requests things all the time from Twitter and Facebook, but usually it's about a criminal case or a national security matter, something where there is a real matter of national significance or somebody has been indicted, maybe a murder.
But this is about a customs investigation, and there's no obvious precedent for that.>> Since Trump took office, anonymous Twitter feeds have voiced concerns at more than a dozen US government agencies about the president's views on climate change and other issues. And Twitter says, that's fair game.>> One of the big questions going forward is what high level officials in the government knew about this summons ahead of time?
Was this a summons that was ordered by the heads of the Department of Homeland Security, or another department, or even people in the White House? Or was this just limited to this one customs inspector?