The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president — a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit.
On Thursday, Twitter revealed that U.S. customs agents filed a legal order in a bid to get the company to reveal who is behind @ALT_USCIS — a so-called “alt-agency” account that has been taking aim at Trump, his immigration policy and the inner workings of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A day later, though, the government “contacted counsel for Twitter, to advise that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn the summons and that the summons no longer has any force or effect,” Twitter told a federal judge on Friday. That means Twitter itself could drop its case.
Twitter previously had argued that the government’s request, if it had been fulfilled, “would have a grave chilling effect on the speech of that account in particular and on the many other ‘alternative agency’ accounts that have been created to voice dissent to government policies.”
Update: The Trump administration’s quiet effort to unmask the @ALT_USCIS account — and the prompt withdrawal of its demand — drew a sharp rebuke Friday from Sen. Ron Wyden. The Oregon Democrat asked the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to open an investigation of the matter, stressing the agency may have exceeded its authority under law.
“Even more concerning,” Wyden continued in a letter shared with Recode, “is the possibility that [customs officials] requested this information to learn if the accountholder(s) are employed by the Department of Homeland Security in order to take retaliatory action or otherwise squelch the exercise of First Amendment right to comment on U.S. policy, and to make those comments anonymously.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.