Twitter fights for #FreeSpeech!

Twitter wants to tell you that you're being spied on. This week, the social media company sued the U.S. Justice Department for the right to reveal the number and nature of requests for private user information. According to their lawsuit, the tech company said that under current rules, they're not even allowed to say whether or not they've received any requests for information, and they believe the rules are unconstitutional.

Other internet companies like Google and Microsoft have made similar complaints about surveillance, and formed an agreement with the government that allowed them to release some unspecific information. However, Twitter has taken a more aggressive stance against sharing user information, and has described themselves as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.”

After months of negotiation with government officials, Twitter is taking the issue to the courts, hoping to provide users with complete transparency. Although we'll have to wait and see how this lawsuit turns out, we should stand with any tech company willing to go to such great lengths to ensure that our privacy rights are protected – even from our own government.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 23 weeks ago

Look what happened to a New Hampshire woman who twittered that her flight was going to be delayed...she was bumped off the flight. Seems that a different passenger had thought that a pilot was under the influence of alcohol and said something about it that caused the flight to be delayed 4 hours. It just shows how these companies are monitoring Twitter and other social media and punishing the people for what they tweet.

She was just trying to inform her family (including 3 young children), after having just visited her mother who just had a breast cancer operation, that she would be delayed. Jet Blue punished her for tweeting about the delay by bumping her off of the flight when it resumed 4 hours later. These airlines create their own bad publicity when they spy on people and punish them for tweeting about the companies. They should know that it will go public and not look good for them.

I wonder if that pilot was really inebriated. Maybe we should have all pilots from all airliners undergo a check or test for alcohol content or drug use just before their scheduled flight.

Maybe people should boycott Jet Blue for being such tight-assed punks. I sure wouldn't want to fly with an airlines that are not open to doing their utmost for the safety of their passengers or for spying on people's social media.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 23 weeks ago

Twitter is correct! "The right of the people to be secure in their tweets, against unreasonable searches, shall not be violated."

Why are we still referring to arbitrary power as government?.......Factionists!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 23 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:I wonder if that pilot was really inebriated. Maybe we should have all pilots from all airliners undergo a check or test for alcohol content or drug use just before their scheduled flight.

Palindromedary ~ Strange you should say that. I think they don't do that because it would be a very expensive waste of time and resources. Furthermore, they probably don't do that because it is fairly easy for anyone to spot a person who is under the influence of something, especially when he is all dressed up in a pilot's costume that already causes him to stick out in a crowd. Plus there is also his crew companions who accompany him onto the plane who also have a lot at stake in being sure they make it to their destination safely.

Having said that, there is no reason whatsoever for the airline to object to anyone pointing out noticing a pilot in such a condition. Aren't we all encouraged as vigilant drivers to spot and report other drunk drivers before accidents happen?Isn't a plane crash much more serious than an auto accident? Such an early warning system is exactly what could save that airline a fortune in daily routine drug and alcohol testing; and, in losing planes and customers to unnecessary accidents. They should encourage it, thank the lady, and question the pilot. Obviously, they circumnavigated that procedure in a way that suspiciously looks like they don't want to know, or already know that the pilot was drunk and want to cover it up. In either case, regardless of the inebriated status of the pilot, that airline has some 'splainin to do.'

Perhaps the solution to this problem is to develop a way to use high tech communication to report such concerns in the most direct and effective way possible to ensure public safety and minimize bad news and false alarms. The use of twitter, or any other social media site simply isn't an effective way to prevent an accident. Also, the airline has no business monitoring peoples private communications. The airline should be reprimanded for doing this. They should also be required to post urgent email addresses and a text message number on the backs of their plane seats so that people have a recourse in the event of a major concern that sends a private message directly to the air traffic control watchtower of the airport. Just imagine how handy that would be to stop a plane from taking off if the pilot was drunk; or, perhaps, someone was hijacking the plane. Tweeting would be a great way to let your family know you're gonna be late for dinner; but, a quick urgent line of communication directly to the air traffic control station might just save your life and every other passengers life as well. In preventing any kind of an inflight tragedy, time is a critical factor.

shelleybr63's picture
shelleybr63 8 years 23 weeks ago

Companies have Marketing groups in-house or Outside that monitor all forms of social media for damage control. This is a very common practice and there are all kinds of software programs that do this for them. A human monitors and then replies or reports the information to the Marketing group for direction if the information is bad enough. The Dominos video in 2010 cost the company quite a bit of money & loyal customers. It's all about the dollars & cents.

shelleybr63's picture
shelleybr63 8 years 23 weeks ago

BTW...Any information put out to the public on Social Media is no longer private once the send button has been pressed. Anyone in the world has access to the information as it's then in the public domain.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 8 years 23 weeks ago

That's why I switched to Twitter from FaceBook, when I heard FB was selling user's info. I also use only the search engine Mozilla, which is also committed to internet freedom and privacy.

Someone has to protect the REAL humans--our own government cannot seem to do that.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 23 weeks ago

On one of his radio shows Thom said there has never (I repeat: never) been an incident of a plane crash occuring because the pilot was stoned. Like "voter fraud", this is a non-issue for those grasping at straws to "substantiate" a bogus argument based on fantasy. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 23 weeks ago

The problem with the claim that "there has never been an incident of a plane crash occurring because the pilot was stoned" is that there is usually no way to determine that after the fact. Many crashes leave little but bits and pieces of bodies and debris...or they crash at can one determine the sobriety of a pilot if his little pieces are all scattered about with other little pieces of other bodies and crash debris?

I think these pilots should all have to take frequent "pee in the cup" tests for other drugs as well. In addition, I think they should have an on-line hand-eye coordination test to help determine the pilot's ability to fly. Some states, maybe all states now, require our vehicles to pass smog tests. The mechanic inserts a probe into the tail pipe and the emissions results are transmitted to the state immediately. When public safety is concerned, I don't think it is too much to ask for those who have the responsibility for the lives of hundreds of people, who pay and rely on sober and skillfully trained pilots, to do their job in the interest of public safety. I know that drunken or drugged up pilots may not be a concern of some other drunks or druggies who abhor the thought of peeing in a cup but they, usually, never have to fly much themselves, I suspect.

Here's a list of stories from Huffington Post of drunk or drugged up pilots who have been caught:

Here's a video of a drunken pilot as he was arriving at the airport. Disgusting!

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