The Department of Justice has demanded the account information of Twitter users that were involved in a public discussion of an FBI agent.
Engadget reports that the Department of Justice has requested the account information of a number of Twitter users following the discussion of FBI agent Nathan Hopp on the social media site. The DOJ requested the account information of the users after they were mentioned in a tweet by security researcher Justin Shafer.
The DOJ believes tweets from the users support allegations of cyberstalking brought against Shafer. Shafer was accused of cyberstalking FBI agent Nathan Hopp following an FBI raid on Shafer’s home that Hopp was involved with. In 2013, Shafer discovered that Faircom’s data encryption service was not working as advertised, poorly masking data and exposing a dentists office to data theft. Shafer was vindicated when the FTC settled with Faircom over claims of false advertising.
However, Shafer’s home was raided by the FBI in 2016 when another entirely separate dentist’s office took issue with Shafer’s disclosure of a hole in their security. The dentist’s office claimed that Shafer had broken the law, leading to the FBI raid that Nathan Hopp was involved in. Shafer then began searching for personal information on Hopp and shared his findings on Twitter.
The FBI now claims that Shafer was effectively stalking Hopp by publishing the personal information that he did on Twitter, and the FBI now wants to collect information on other Twitter’s simply because they were referenced in Shafer’s tweets.
Twitter is now reportedly fighting the request for user information from the DOJ:
Grateful to @Twitter for fighting a grand jury subpoena for my info & for notifying me so I can move to quash. Boy, am I pissed right now…
— Dissent Doe (@PogoWasRight) October 20, 2017