Those stipulations were good enough for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Yahoo, who agreed to those parameters. Twitter, however, decided to sue the government in October. Tuesday's brief, filed by lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who are representing the two companies, notes that any company receiving less than 1,000 letters are arbitrarily silenced by the government.

"The Department of Justice has simply decided that some service providers, who have received 1,000 or more NSLs, can participate—vaguely and partially—in public debates as recipients of NSLs," Kurt Opsahl and Andrew Crocker, lawyers with the EFF, wrote in the brief. "Meanwhile, providers who receive fewer than 1,000 NSLs remain barred from saying whether they have received any NSLs at all."

"Such measures are over broad and intrinsically arbitrary, since they are imposed without any consideration of the specific risks posed by providers' reporting on the NSLs they have received," they added. "The First Amendment requires more."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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