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Twitter sued the U.S. government on Tuesday, seeking the ability to release a full report on government surveillance requests.

The company, in a lawsuit filed in federal court in northern California, claimed the government has been violating its free-speech rights by restricting it from releasing the full version of a report prepared earlier this year.

"As part of our latest transparency report released in June, we described how we were being prohibited from reporting on the actual scope of surveillance of Twitter users by the U.S. government," Ben Lee, the company's vice president of legal, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. "Our ability to speak has been restricted by laws that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider like us from disclosing the exact number of national security letters ('NSLs') and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ('FISA') court orders received -- even if that number is zero."

Twitter of tomorrow

Oct. 1, 201403:30


--- CNBC and NBC News Staff