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Google & Microsoft Call For Government Transparency

Image of PRISM slide from The Washington Post

In response to reports that the government has direct access to the servers of a number of leading technology companies, Google and Microsoft are calling for more transparency as it relates to their relationship with the NSA. These companies are among others to deny that the government has direct access to their servers and they want to be able to publish security requests to prove it.

Yesterday, David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google published a letter addressed to the attorney general and the head of the FBI. He wrote:

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.

Microsoft echoed the same request in a statement emailed to Reuters:

Permitting greater transparency on the aggregate volume and scope of national security requests, including FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) orders, would help the community understand and debate these important issues…Our recent report went as far as we legally could and the government should take action to allow companies to provide additional transparency

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