Google files with secret court to obtain permission to report on two data sets
Stating that its business has been harmed by inaccurate media reports and that its users are concerned about the allegations, Google seeks to be able to include more information in its transparency reports.
The first is to provide a “total number of [FISA] requests [Google] receives, if any.” That would take shape in a presumably similar fashion to the range of requests it received from the FBI in the form of National Security Letters, which Google is now allowed to acknowledge. However, the NSLs are tied to criminal activity whereas PRISM is, well everything.
The second data set is to publish “the total number of users or accounts encompassed within such reports” which, would again be similar to the company’s most recent filing where it was allowed to acknowledge the NSLs and the general scope of their intended targets.
The FISC approved every request it received from the government last year. However, Google’s filing arguably does nothing to reveal the true scope of investigative or surveillance activity. That said, the nature of preventing anyone from knowing what you are up to demands that revealing quantitative information be kept to a minimum.
sources: Google via Ars Technica
This story is part of:NSA data collection - PRISM (19 updates)
18 June Google files with secret court to obtain permission to report on two data sets
17 June Eavesdropping scandal escalates: U.S. spied on Russian president Medvedev, other top politicians
17 June Apple issues official statement: “we do not provide government with direct access to our servers”
16 June WSJ: NSA does not gather cellphone-location records despite authorization to do so
16 June The NSA can listen to your calls without a warrant