It's Friday and time for another overview of developments in
the field of business and human rights that we've been
This week's post includes: an effort by Twitter to enjoin
U.S. Government demands for information regarding a user account
critical of the Trump Administration; an announcement that seven
telecommunications companies have joined the Global Network
Initiative; and a decision by EITI to make project-level payment
On April 6, Twitter filed a lawsuit against the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border
Protection seeking to enjoin the enforcement of an administrative
summons demanding that the company provide records related to
identity of the user behind the Twitter account @ALT_USCIS. The
account has been critical of the Trump Administration, specifically
current immigration policies and procedures. In its filing, Twitter
argued that "[t]he rights of free speech afforded
Twitter's users and Twitter itself under the First Amendment of
the U.S. Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous
or pseudonymous political speech." [Update: On
Friday, April 7, Twitter dropped the lawsuit after the U.S.
Government withdrew the summons.]
On April 3, trial began in Quinteros v. DynCorp, a case
involving claims by Ecuadorian plaintiffs who allege that they
suffered severe harm as the result of fumigation activities
conducted by DynCorp in the Ecuadorian/Colombian border region.
DynCorp's spraying of fumigants was conducted as part of Plan
Colombia, through which the company had a contract with the U.S.
Government to eradicate cocaine and heroin crops growing in
Colombia. The long-running case, originally filed in 2001 pursuant
to the Alien Tort Statute, is proceeding to trial on the basis of
common law claims of battery and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. The trial is before the U.S.
District Court of the District of Columbia.
On March 9, the Board of Directors of the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative ("EITI") decided that its 51
member countries will need to disclose receipt information at the
project-level with regard to payments received from oil, gas, and
mining companies. Companies operating in the member countries are
required to publish information on project-level payments.
Project-level reporting will become mandatory for all reports
covering fiscal years ending on or after December 31,
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