FBI request for Twitter account data may have overstepped legal guidelines

The FBI appeared to go beyond the scope of existing legal guidance in seeking certain kinds of internet records from Twitter as recently as last year, legal experts said, citing two warrantless surveillance orders the social media company published on Friday. Twitter said its disclosures were the first time the company had been allowed to publicly reveal the secretive orders, which were delivered with gag orders when they were issued in 2015 and 2016. Each of the two new orders, known as national security letters (NSLs), specifically request a type of data known as electronic communication transaction records, which can include some email header data and browsing history, among other information.

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