link.png Disclosing National Security Requests← Back

It's no secret that the U.S government is actively seeking user information from multiple technology companies. And those companies are now pushing to reveal more details about how often the government collects user information for national security purposes.

Yahoo and Facebook have now filed motions with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, asking for the right to publish more statistics about national security requests. Microsoft and Google filed suits in August, and Google filed an amended motion on Monday.

Currently, technology firms are not allowed to break down how many requests are related to national security. All requests, whether they come from a city police department or from the NSA, are reported together.

U.S. intelligence agencies don’t have to go through the traditional court system to get a court order. Instead, these agencies can get a special warrant from the FISA Court, whose proceedings are held in secret. The requests are rarely turned down.

 

The government says it will annually disclose FISA orders, national security letters, and other requests, but tech companies want to be able to break out the number of national-security requests they’ve received. Also, these firms want to disclose how many of those requests are seeking actual content from users’ accounts.

Read more about how tech companies are fighting to save their reputations here.