Wikimedia, Automattic, and others file amicus in Twitter privacy case

Automattic joined Wikimedia, Medium, and other organizations in filing an amicus brief regarding Twitter's National Security Letters lawsuit against the US government.

This is all a bit confusing, butΒ the brief opens in this way:

We are small Internet companies and communication service providers that want to be open and honest with our users and the public about the number of national security requests we receive from the government. We publish regular transparency reports that include statistics about government requests for user information, and we believe the reporting rules currently approved by the Justice Department do not allow us to tell a candid story.

Current procedure obfuscates just how many letters the government is sending internet based platforms like Automattic. The amicus cites the companies' desire to “offer useful, accurate information and respond to the concerns of our users.”

While it's tempting to yawn straight through a story like this, it's important. I'm pleased to see Automattic and these other companies fight the US government's efforts to obfuscate information that is better when public.

One sad note — though I'll give Automattic a pass and hope it's a lawyer mistake — is that the brief cites Automattic as “the company behind WordPress.” I agree with Ryan McCue completely, that it's “disrespectful of the people that actually work on WP, regardless of context.” Anyway, I'm glad this brief was filed, and I appreciate whoever championed the effort and paid for the costs.