Companies forced to anonymously fight back against FBI surveillance

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The fate of the United States government’s ability to silently serve tech companies with a type of court order that compels firms to hand over private user data to federal authorities is currently being fought, predictably, cloak-and-dagger.

A lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California late last year by Twitter, the social networking platform, seeks to have a federal court judge say that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s practice of serving companies with National Security Letters, or NSLs — a type of administrative subpoena issued often with gag orders and almost always absent judicial oversight — violates the Constitution.

Now in what some have already hailed as being Kafkaesque, two companies that want to advocate before the court against NSLs on Twitter’s behalf have been told that they can only do so on the condition that they do so anonymously.

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