Twitter has voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against the administration of President Donald Trump after the government withdrew its demand for the social network to reveal the identity of an anonymous user who had criticized the President.
Twitter filed the lawsuit Thursday against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPD), Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and CBP acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan.
The lawsuit revealed that CBP had issued a summons to Twitter demanding the company reveal the identity of the user behind the account @ALT_USCIS, an anonymous account that has tweeted criticisms of the Trump administration’s foreign policy and actions on immigration.
Twitter refused the demand and filed the suit against the government, alleging that it was an “unlawful” use of government power and “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.”
According to the filing for dismissal, legal counsel from the Department of Justice representing the government agencies involved in the suit “contacted counsel for Twitter, to advise that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn the summons and that the summons no longer has any force or effect.”
In response to the withdrawal of the summons, Twitter opted to voluntarily dismiss the case.
“We want to thank @twitter and @aclu for standing up for the right of free anonymous speech,” the operator of the @ALT_USCIS account wrote on Twitter following the dismissal. “Thank you resistance for standing up for us.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which expressed its support for Twitter in the suit on Thursday, tweeted that the government’s withdrawal of the summons was a “big victory for free speech and right to dissent.”
The @ALT_USCIS account first appeared on Twitter in January as part of a flood of “alternative” accounts that purport to be rogue versions of official government agency accounts run by government employees who oppose the current administration.