Will they come to get me?
Yesterday, I received no NSLs or FISA orders.
Twitter has sued the US government in a bid to gain approval to publish more granular transparency reports. As the avian network's veep for legal Ben Lee has blogged, “Our ability to speak has been restricted by laws that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider like us from disclosing the exact number of national …
there is a conflict with the laws governing stock market disclosures as these numbers potentially have a financial impact to the organisation (i.e. it could impact its customer base).
I would think this could generate some interesting arguments as the suit progresses.
As I understood it, an American citizen is not required to adhere to rules regarding classified documents unless they have agreed to do so in advance. So whether the FBI wants this stuff to be classified is irrelevant unless Twitter has officially signed up to keeping these details confidential (they seem instead to have been fighting it the whole time)
If the information is classified according to the federal government, how come it's accessible and was compiled by Twitter employees? By definition, it can't really be classified if it's a report compiled by non-government, non-cleared employees of Twitter. Surely the authorities would be obliged to seize the data and slap people on the wrist for possessing it.... unless they're just making stuff up, of course!
It follows that if Twitter is suing the US government, then the number of court orders they have received is not zero.
Even if they can't disclose the exact number of court orders, could they disclose a ball-park figure? Something like "In 2013, Twitter received somewhere between 15,345.5 and 15,346.5 court orders."
The requirement ALSO states it must be broad enough that no reasonable conclusion can be drawn from the range. IOW, your range is too specific. They're looking for something more like "between zero and ten million" on the grounds that the mere disclosure of that exact number can tip off criminals.
Because Twitter is BASED in America AND since America deems crimes committed by Americans to be subject to American law even if committed on foreign soil. IOW, they'll consider a publication of classified information outside the US by a US-based company to STILL be in violation of US law. In fact, they'll consider it to be an attempt to circumvent US law which makes it both willful and malicious, increasing the severity. Plus since we're talking about crimes with terrorist ties, this can become a national security issue, which may take precedence over most other laws currently in place, including perhaps SEC regulations regarding truthful reporting.
"American outlets seem to be able to publish information that has been banned in the UK with impunity"
Banned? What are you referring to, specifically?
If it's D-Notices and private information on royals, that's not 'banned' information, as I recall: It's a gentleman's agreement with the UK press, along the lines of 'Once in a while we ask you not to report something, and in return we give you press releases and play nice with you'.
International press has no such respect for such agreements and is not party to them.
"Can they publish a story about not being able to publish a story about not being able to publish a story about X, or is the law recursive?"
I think the law is rather all-encompassing. It prohibits MENTIONING that you can't mention the banned item, meaning any form of recursion is already covered because you have to mention that you can't mention the banned item in order to mention that you can't mention that you can't mention the banned item.
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