US Government Will Allow Tech Firms To Release Information On Surveillance Requests

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Several tech companies have reached an agreement with the government over the release of information on surveillance requests, Reuters reports.

From Reuters:

The companies are expected to release numbers of government requests, without breaking out how many originate from a controversial National Security Agency program disclosed last week intended to gather intelligence about non-U.S. residents, the sources said.

The specific company names were not given in the report, but the deal likely comes in response to pressure from three of the largest internet companies — Facebook, Google, and Microsoft — who sent statements Tuesday to the Justice Department asking for greater transparency in light of allegations of the NSA’s “dragnet surveillance” of phone calls, emails, and social network activity.

Google wrote that they had worked “tremendously hard over the past fifteen years to earn [their] users’ trust.” Their letter continued:

We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide. 

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