Tech Giants to Feds: Let Us Air Our Role in NSA Spying
Google, Facebook urge feds to lift gag orders
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 5:04 AM CDT
No government spies to be seen at this Google data center in Iowa.   (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)

(Newser) – Google and other tech giants are far from happy about being seen as willing partners in the NSA's Internet surveillance program and they want the government to lift gag orders so they can show otherwise. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo have requested secrecy orders be eased so that they can tell the public the number and scope of information requests received, the Washington Post reports. "Google has nothing to hide," the company's chief legal officer wrote in an open letter to the attorney general and the head of the FBI.

The companies say lifting the ongoing gag orders would be a welcome move toward greater transparency and would end "incorrect speculation" about their role in assisting security agencies, CNET reports. Analysts say the companies could end up losing a lot of business if they're not allowed to be open about their role in government surveillance programs. "The NSA doesn’t care about its brand," an American Civil Liberties Union technologist notes. "It’s the Internet companies whose brands are suffering."

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
Jun 12, 2013 11:16 PM CDT
LOL, I'd love to see Facebook air their real role in spying, considering that it was basically created and funded by the CIA to begin with.
Jun 12, 2013 12:32 PM CDT
As long as there are technology there will be ones who abuse. There also always will be hackers who wants to make it better.
Jun 12, 2013 11:10 AM CDT
So there's this gag order because we should not talk about this thing that's not there anyway. We want to prove to the public that it doesn't exist but we can't because of the gag order. The double-think is getting pretty deep now.