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>because you mocked the President.

That's not true. The us government is asking for the account holders identities (no shut down request) because the government suspects that the account owners are civilians (or possibly foreign actors) posing as federal employees. The account derives it's authority by saying that it is run by employees of a federal agency. It's a serious federal crime to impersonate a federal employee. The government has not asked to shut down the account.

I suspect the government will make a decision after they know the identities, but there is just enough evidence to assume the account holder is faking their authority as there is to believe its real.

> impersonating a federal agent

> (possibly foreign actors) posing as federal employees

> impersonate a federal employee

Just one look at the twitter account in question makes it clear this entire line of reasoning is absurd. Can't wait to hear more ham-fisted nonsense like this in the weeks to come.

Impersonating a Federal Agent is not a "serious" federal crime. And typically it's only prosecuted when done in relation to another crime. The only crime here is saying mean things about Trump.

I thought it was impersonating a federal agent in the line of duty that was a crime, ie it would not be a crime to claim that you work for the USCIS at a party, but it would be a crime to claim you work for the USCIS and demand to see someone's green card.

You don't think impersonating a federal agent in order to spread political propaganda is serious?

Claiming to be a federal agent, ex-military, a doctor, etc. is NOT a priori a crime. You can claim all manner of things. They may be unethical, but claiming something is very rarely criminal.

Spreading propaganda is not criminal. Many days I wish it were, but it is not.

You have to proceed to ACTION before something becomes criminal. So, if that account shared confidential information, now the feds can probably go get a subpoena and crack the identity.

Unless they have a subpoena, this is a fishing expedition for the purposes of intimidating others.

Are you sure about that? Police impersonation to my knowledge do not require additional criminal actions to be illegal, and it is enough to verbal claim that you are a police officer or change the appearance of a car to look like a police car.

The only case I know where police impersonation is legal is if those involved recognize the imposter is not a real police officer, and the imposter is not trying to deceive those involved into thinking he/she is. That is some very clear criteria of both intent and results which is part of the "rarely criminal" cases where without it it is criminal.

The equivalent would be Alt_SomeTownPD.

Looks like the worst they've done is made some screenshots https://twitter.com/ALT_uscis/status/833455581734326272 which don't look obviously wrong.

This is not the same as pulling over someone and pretending you're a cop. Context matters.

You don't need to pull someone over and do something which is illegal for a civilian. If you just modify a car to look like a police car and driver around with it, then that is likely enough. Similar, even if you only walk around in a police uniform with a fake badge and don't do anything more, it will likely end up badly.

Context matter, which is why intent and result are part of the equation. If people are being fooled into thinking someone is a police, and someone had the intent to fool others (maybe with the intention to create false association), then that is likely fully enough to get a person charged with impersonating a police officer.

So you think this twitter account is at the same level as the Fox News commentator who feds say faked a CIA career?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/fox-news-... https://archive.fo/Sj3w8

That's the equivalent of stolen valor, which is a separate issue of fabricating past accomplishments. The commentator did not claim they were a current CIA officer.

There are, I'm certain, many people impersonating Donald Trump on Twitter -- after all, his account goes out of its way to specify that he's the real Donald Trump.

The same is certain to be true for high-ranking members of his administration. The same is true for, I'm sure, quite a lot of members of Congress. My list of fake Supreme Court justices on Twitter unfortunately is down to just the fake Scalia who tweets from beyond the grave, since the other former members apparently went inactive or dropped off the service.

And it's not just the current government, either -- there's a Richard Nixon impersonator on Twitter who's been known to do some pretty biting commentary on current affairs.

And many of those accounts "spread political propaganda", if by that you mean "express and advocate for views contrary to those of the actual people the accounts impersonate".

Would you advocate that they all be rounded up for their vicious, heinous, nation-threatening crimes? Also, when did expressing a political opinion become a federal crime?

Is spreading political propaganda a crime? I'm sure the US Government would have loved to have had your legal advice back during WW2 when it was spreading anti-Hitler propaganda throughout Europe.

Almost everything the CIA does is illegal in the countries it operates in. Regardless of whatever US law says, I am certain that spreading anti-Hitler propaganda in German-controlled WWII Europe was certainly illegal.

In that case I guess I'm happy someone stepped up and broke the law.

Ah yes, 'liberal propaganda' (aka facts) = Nazi germany. Man, the tired rehashed alt-right babble gets exhausting.

Well then if the Trump administration is searching for "Foreign actors posing as federal employees", shouldn't it first look into a mirror instead of twitter first?

Sick burn. However, about ten paragraphs in, and after mentioning Trump serveral times, the article states:

> There is no indication that the White House was aware of the summons, which was signed by a Florida-based supervisor who works in an office that investigates employee corruption, misconduct and mismanagement. The supervisor could not be reached for comment.

So while this supervisor might be serving as a catspaw of the administration (who can say at this point?), this article (and the related discussion) seems to be using it to stir up controversy about Trump, whose only known involvement at present is as one of the subjects `ALT_uscis` tweets about.

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