U.S. Reaping Results of a Poisoned Relationship With IT Industry
Once again, the U.S. federal government has run into a roadblock with the technology industry. This time Twitter is preventing government agencies from using the service to augment their intelligence-gathering activities.
On May 9, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter is no longer allowing partner Dataminr to provide feeds of Twitter activity to government agencies to help with their surveillance efforts.
The change does not affect government use for non-surveillance purposes. For example, Dataminr provides alerts to the World Health Organization and the company has an ongoing contract with the Department of Homeland Security in the United States.
Twitter's action follows other refusals by the tech industry to comply with requests to provide access to users' data. Earlier this year Apple refused to help the FBI unlock an iPhone 5C that was used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Microsoft has been refusing Justice Department demands that it turn over the contents of an email server located in Ireland.
NEWS ANALYSIS: The U.S. government is learning that it badly needs the technology industry's cooperation, but it has given the industry little incentive to do its civic duty.
Meanwhile, the technology industry has been uniting in resistance against government demands through public statements, lobbying efforts, advertising and other means.