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Twitter pulls lawsuit after feds back down

Twitter has withdrawn a lawsuit against the U.S. government after the Customs and Border Protection backed down on a demand that the social media outlet reveal details about a user account critical of the agency.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, contended that the customs agency was abusing its investigative power. The customs agency has the ability to get private user data from Twitter when investigating cases in areas such as illegal imports, but this case was far from that.

The target of the request was the @alt_uscis account, one of a number of “alt” accounts that have sprung up on Twitter since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The accounts are critical of the new administration and most claim to be run by current or former staff members of government agencies.

The customs agency’s investigation into who started the @alt_uscis account led to the request that Twitter identify the author. USCIS is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and is part of the Department of Homeland Security alongside the customs service.

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