February 4, 2014
A flurry of new reports from major technology companies show that the government collects customer information on tens of thousands of Americans every six months as part of secret national security investigations. And the companies’ top lawyers struck a combative stance, saying the Obama administrative needs to provide more transparency about its data collection.
Freed by a recent legal deal with the Obama administration, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr provided expanded details and some vented criticism about the government’s handling of customers’ Internet data in counterterrorism and other intelligence-related probes.
The figures from 2012 and 2013 showed that companies such as Google and Microsoft were compelled by the government to provide information on as many as 10,000 customer accounts in a six-month period. Yahoo complied with government requests for information on more than 40,000 accounts in the same period.