The Wall Street Journal reported on May 8 that Twitter has banned U.S. intelligence agencies from using Dataminr, a service that mines public Twitter feeds for paying customers.

Twitter, which owns five percent of Dataminr, is supposedly worried about the "optics" of being too close to intelligence organizations, according to an anonymous source. Thus far, the ban has not been publicly announced. However, the government had been supposedly utilizing Dataminr to keep tabs on terrorist plotting.

Twitter had been allowing Dataminr to provide its services to the government over the past two years. However, it had an existing ban on third-party services, including Dataminr, from selling data to the government. Twitter has not stated why or how Dataminr was able to avoid the ban to specifically work with intelligence agencies.

New York City-based Dataminr was originally founded in 2009 by Ted Bailey, Jeff Kinsey and Sam Hendel. Today, Dataminr works to provide its clients with real-time information from public sources in industries including finance, corporate security and crisis management.

In partnership with Twitter, Dataminr launched Dataminr for News. This program alerts reporters to breaking news ahead of traditional sources, and it's being used by hundreds of news organizations daily. Subscribers receive "Signals," which are delivered to them via app, email or instant message. 

As of late, Twitter has been in the news for issues it's been addressing with the government and its relationship with federal agencies. On May 2, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed a lawsuit filed by Twitter, which would have given the social media company more leeway to disclose information about government requests. Twitter had initially filed its suit for disclosure back in 2014. 

"It's our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users' concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance — including what types of legal process have not been received," wrote Ben Lee, Legal and Deputy General of Twitter. "We should be free to do this in a meaningful way, rather than in broad, inexact ranges."

Although Rogers dismissed the lawsuit, she gave Twitter the opportunity to refile in the future with more details.

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