US, Internet Giants Cut Deal on Data Disclosure
Companies can say how often they give up your information
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2014 4:05 PM CST
This July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – The government and leading Internet companies today announced a compromise that will allow those companies to reveal more information about how often they are ordered to turn over customer information to the government in national security investigations. The Justice Department reached agreements with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn that would resolve those companies' legal challenges before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The companies had asked judges to allow them to disclose data on national security orders the companies have received under FISA.

Under today's compromise, Internet companies will be able to release more information, but still only in very general terms when it comes to national security investigations. They can report:

  • the number of criminal-related orders from the government
  • rounded to the nearest thousand, the number of secret national security-related orders from government investigators, the number of national security-related orders from the FISA court, and the number of customers affected by both.
The five companies welcomed the deal, but said more needs to be done. "We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive," the companies said in a joint statement.

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Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Observer
Jan 28, 2014 11:59 AM CST
How about refusing to cooperate. We are not paying for proxy spy services to manage our emails.
????
Jan 28, 2014 12:19 AM CST
Oh yeah now that net neutrality is history we can pretend to care about individual rights. Scumbags.
finkster
Jan 27, 2014 8:39 PM CST
When Big Government, which is basically Big Money, wants something, it will get it no matter what laws are passed.