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Trump Administration Threatened Twitter — Unmask Dissident Accounts Or Else

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posted on Apr, 7 2017 @ 11:40 PM
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a reply to: TheScale

18 USC 912 wouldn't apply. Here's the text again:


Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.


This is from the DOJ's criminal division recommendations:


The Criminal Division's recommendation is that generally in situations which involve the impersonation of a federal officer or employee, coupled with an application for credit, registration for lodging, cashing of a personal check or some other similar act, prosecution should not be initiated under the second part of 18 U.S.C. § 912 unless the subject has also pretended to be acting under color of federal authority or has expressly or implicitly suggested that the valuable thing demanded or obtained was necessary for the performance of his official duty.


As is noted there are two distinct crimes covered: impersonating and acting as or impersonating and demanding/obtaining of value under the false prestense. It's not in of itself illegal to lie about being a federal agent. The acting as of part is explained in more detail:


In deciding whether a false personation case warrants prosecution under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912, it should be noted that the distinctive element of the offense under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912 is acting as the officer impersonated. This element requires something more than a mere false pretense. There must be some additional overt act in keeping with the pretense. Absent an overt act which is distinguishable from the pretense, prosecution under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912 should not be undertaken.


The user isn't even claiming to speak in any sort of official capacity. It's clearly stated in the profile (and it's noted in the complaint): "Not the views of DHS or USCIS."

Even if there was a suspected crime, investigating it wouldn't be under the purview of CBP. And if there had been and it was, they still would have needed a warrant. What they tried to do was to compel Twitter under false pretenses of their own, citing authority granted to obtain records pertaining to an investigation that would be under their purview — violation of import laws and regulations — which clearly has absolutely nothing to do with the expressed opinions of a Twitter user.




posted on Apr, 7 2017 @ 11:53 PM
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originally posted by: CB328
Wow, Trump being a fascist.

What about all the morons claiming there's no evidence of Trump being a fascist?? Are they going to admit their stupidity now?


You're misusing that word just so you can hurl an insult.

#lame



posted on Apr, 7 2017 @ 11:59 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

yeah i can agree with much of what u have to say. its kinda backed up by the fact that it has been dropped on both sides. it does seem very sloppily done even the way the guy specifically states that they will not be seeking to get the court order. i hope someone investigates further, doubt it will happen but theres a whole lot of what ifs that id like answered to clear it up further. not gonna deny that whoever was behind this did a super sloppy job though and needs to be held accountable.who knows it could have gone down entirely differently then its being portrayed aswell. could have been a very friendly phonecall and just asked if it was something they couldd get done to avoid all the paperwork hassle. doesnt make it right but it wouldnt be the first time something like that has happened in the hopes of saving yourself time. still theres no way to know without further investigation
edit on 8-4-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:01 AM
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delete

edit on 8-4-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: AutonomousMeatPuppet


So to sum it up:

All the millions of Federal employees are now part of a hive mind controlled by Donald Trump.. Whatever they do, Trump's fault.


What happend to "the buck stops here?"


Also, if you publicly criticize the company you work for, the HR department will be violating your 1st amendment rights if they try to track you down and fire you.


I believe you meant to say "will not be?" My company's HR department wouldn't send an unlawful summons to Twitter demanding information about a user.


That's some good journalizing.


Thanks.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I was actually waiting for this. Wasn't sure which of the "rogue" or "alt" accounts were real but I figured one or two might be legit. If someone is looking into it, there might be something to them.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:33 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

First part 18 USC 192;

Whoever impersonates a US authority and acts as such.

An overt act would be using the USCIS emblem.

A disclaimer on their profile does not carry over to tweets.

This would definitely be a problem if they are not a federal employee.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:45 AM
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originally posted by: AutonomousMeatPuppet
a reply to: theantediluvian

First part 18 USC 192;

Whoever impersonates a US authority and acts as such.

An overt act would be using the USCIS emblem.

A disclaimer on their profile does not carry over to tweets.

This would definitely be a problem if they are not a federal employee.



id imagine it could be a problem if they were also a federal employee and whats being said is true but if your in the loop then you maybe have agreed to non disclosure agreements and whatnot. i have lots of questions but unfortunately i dont think were going to get any answers since both sides have dropped everything



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 01:57 AM
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a reply to: AutonomousMeatPuppet


Whoever impersonates a US authority and acts as such. An overt act would be using the USCIS emblem.


Read what I linked from the DOJ's guidance on this first part (the "acts as such" part):


In deciding whether a false personation case warrants prosecution under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912, it should be noted that the distinctive element of the offense under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912 is acting as the officer impersonated. This element requires something more than a mere false pretense. There must be some additional overt act in keeping with the pretense. Absent an overt act which is distinguishable from the pretense, prosecution under the first part of 18 U.S.C. § 912 should not be undertaken.


"Acting of the officer impersonated" + "some additional overt act in keeping with the pretense."

Using the emblem would be part of the act of impersonation. Now you could argue that tweeting while using the emblem was tantamount to issuing public statements as an authorized representative of the agency and that's an act but the content of the tweets would come into question. If for instance the tweets were a parody, then using the emblem would be like SNL using the Presidential Seal in skits.

In any event, this is a moot point because the emblem that was used in the profile pic, as noted in the complaint, is not one that could be reasonable confused as official:



You can verify that the above is indeed what was used by looking at images of past tweets via Google images. And this is the newer profile pic:




posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 02:13 AM
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a reply to: TheScale


id imagine it could be a problem if they were also a federal employee and whats being said is true but if your in the loop then you maybe have agreed to non disclosure agreements and whatnot. i have lots of questions but unfortunately i dont think were going to get any answers since both sides have dropped everything


Even if it violated some terms of employment, as long as there's no law making it a criminal act, it's still not something that would be subject to criminal investigation. =If they wanted that information, they'd have to take Twitter to court like James Woods did when he sued a Twitter user who called him a coke addict for defamation.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 02:41 AM
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a reply to: AboveBoard

You could be right AB


It runs in the direction of censorship without oversight, doesn't it? We insist on silence under threat of legal action. In personal terms, it's a classically abusive relationship.

There are twitter accounts that are significantly more unfriendly to Trump's endeavours and they haven't attracted this shady approach. As you say, maybe they were phishing and had to start somewhere.


Good to see they've scuttled back to the shadows and withdrawn the threats. These are unwelcome precedents which people should guard against. After all, if it works under Trump's government, it'll work for those who follow it.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 10:10 AM
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I love trying to guess the author of the thread by the headline and the first paragraph before clicking the link...
Sadly this game is getting so predictable it's no fun anymore.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: AutonomousMeatPuppet
a reply to: theantediluvian

First part 18 USC 192;

Whoever impersonates a US authority and acts as such.

An overt act would be using the USCIS emblem.

A disclaimer on their profile does not carry over to tweets.

This would definitely be a problem if they are not a federal employee.



The mayor of Peoria, IL raided somebody's house because they made a parody twitter account of him.

Jim Ardis. Look it up.

# is not okay, regardless of who does it.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 11:57 AM
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All I see here is a CBP administrator trying to reign in an alleged employee. Sending a legal demand for their identity is a bit of a dirty trick, but that's about it.

There's no campaign against the 1st amendment.

There's no higher ups involved.

There's just a faceless paper pusher who tried to pull a fast one on Twitter.

If that alleged employee posted their real name, they would certainly be fired with just cause.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I read the DOJ guidance and it it explicitly clear.

I can say I'm a federal official all I want. But if I were to, say, put on a badge, then it becomes a crime.

Claiming to be USCIS and using an official looking emblem is a crime.

No one actually is trying to put this person in jail though. It was just pointed out that they are breaking the law.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 05:15 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: whyamIhere

You do realize that's photoshopped right?

Here's the original photo at Getty

What are your thoughts on the federal government trying to force Twitter to reveal identifying information for a user who is tweeting things critical of the government?


Look at those knees and ankles. I completely understand Bill now, it all makes sense.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: Ohanka
While I have very little love for Twitter, their policies and their generally craptacular service, I have to side with them on this one. This is a fairly sinister action by the Trump administration.

Of course the Obama and Bush administrations set the precedent for the 1st amendment being little more than a loose suggestion rather than a supreme law of the land, that does not excuse a President taking these actions when he was fairly critical about it when Obama was President.

For once I hope Twitter comes on top (and hopefully I will never, EVER have to type that phrase again).


I don't agree. The 1st amendment does not protect groups (be it within US or external) from unfairly manipulating the democratiic process by hiding behind an individuals persona.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 11:44 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

It's called "journalism."


LOL... So journalism consists of posting fallacious arguments, and resorting to name call the "subject of obsession" not to mention using the same tactics against people who happen to agree with such "subject of obsession"?... and that's what you call journalism?...

That's without mentioning the fact that even in these forums it was widely published the fact that the Obama administration hired droves of paid propagandists to post in chat-rooms and "conspiracy websites"... But of course, that cannot be the case... Right?...

Obama pick for NSA review panel wanted paid, pro-government shills in chat rooms

Heck, does anyone remember this from "the intercept" from 2014?

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

BTW, it's kind of ironic that people don't notice the fact that "an anonymous" person posting in the internet could be anyone. How do you know whether that person is actually a whistleblower, or just some left-wing lunatic who is simply spreading false claims while claiming to be a government employee?


edit on 9-4-2017 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.

edit on 9-4-2017 by ElectricUniverse because: add link.



posted on Apr, 9 2017 @ 12:34 AM
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originally posted by: ElectricUniverse

originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

It's called "journalism."


LOL... So journalism consists of posting fallacious arguments, and resorting to name call the "subject of obsession" not to mention using the same tactics against people who happen to agree with such "subject of obsession"?... and that's what you call journalism?...

That's without mentioning the fact that even in these forums it was widely published the fact that the Obama administration hired droves of paid propagandists to post in chat-rooms and "conspiracy websites"... But of course, that cannot be the case... Right?...

Obama pick for NSA review panel wanted paid, pro-government shills in chat rooms

Heck, does anyone remember this from "the intercept" from 2014?

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

BTW, it's kind of ironic that people don't notice the fact that "an anonymous" person posting in the internet could be anyone. How do you know whether that person is actually a whistleblower, or just some left-wing lunatic who is simply spreading false claims while claiming to be a government employee?



Obama isn't potus. Stay on topic.



posted on Apr, 9 2017 @ 01:17 AM
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originally posted by: fencesitter85

Obama isn't potus. Stay on topic.


I wasn't talking in specific about Obama himself but the fact that there should still be paid shills, the DNC still gets tax payer dollars, out there using these same tactics used during the Obama administration.

BTW, impersonating a government employee is a federal offense. The op posted "opinion" as if it was a fact but he left out the following.


...
Homeland Security further asked that Twitter keep the very existence of the summons secret, and added that “failure to comply with this summons will render you liable to proceedings in a U.S. District Court to enforce compliance with this summons as well as other sanctions.” When Twitter replied stating that such a demand would require a court order, Special Agent Adam Hoffman of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, in the companies words, that “no such court order would be obtained.” Strangely, the summons specified a deadline for disclosure of @ALT_USCIS’s user information that occurred the day before the summons was even faxed to Twitter. Regardless of the fact that many of thesealt accountsappear to be individuals pretending to be members of a given federal agency, removing their anonymity simply because they are criticizing the president would be a devastating blow to Twitter’s ability to facilitate free speech.
...

theintercept.com...

Pretending to be a federal employee is a federal offense last i checked.

18 U.S. Code § 912 - Officer or employee of the United States



edit on 9-4-2017 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.



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