February 4, 2014
Several industry-leading tech companies are much more transparent about government surveillance requests than they were last week.
Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and LinkedIn have all provided statistics on government requests for user data issued through National Security Letters (NSLs) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders. Internet communications companies were previously forbidden to release such data, until the U.S. government reached an agreement with several of the aforementioned companies, which was announced last week.
“Publishing these numbers is a step in the right direction, and speaks to the principles for reform that we announced with other companies last December,” announces a Google blog post with the new disclosures. “But we still believe more transparency is needed so everyone can better understand how surveillance laws work and decide whether or not they serve the public interest.”