Twitter Discloses Warrantless, Potentially Unconstitutional And Illegal FBI Data Requests
Those gag orders have been lifted and just as other tech companies have done in recent months—most notably Google and Yahoo—Twitter is making public the data requests in an effort to remain transparent. While the letters requested a "large amount of data," Twitter said it provided the bare minimum to comply with federal law and interpretive guidance from the Justice Department.
A 2008 Justice Department memo determined that NSLs should be limited to phone billing records. However, these letters indicate that the FBI is essentially ignoring the DoJ's guidance and continues to ask for Internet records that could include sensitive data.
Law enforcement officials have been using NSLs for several decades. The use of NSLs became much more frequent and wide ranging since the USA Patriot Act. Twitter is currently in a legal dispute with the U.S. government over the ability to disclose NSLs.