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Google Asks U.S. Government to Allow Transparency for Its National Security Request Data

In an open letter published today, Google has asked the U.S. Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for more transparency regarding national security request data in light of the NSA data collection controversy. The letter, signed by David Drummond, Google's Chief Legal Officer, states in part:

"We have always made clear that we comply with valid legal requests. And last week, the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged that service providers have received Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests.

Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users' data are simply untrue. However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation.

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."

Related topics: Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation, Privacy

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