Google petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday for permission to explain to the public exactly how often the company has been asked to provide users’ data for the purpose of national security.
Yahoo is the latest company to disclose how many requests for user data it has received from U.S. government agencies, putting the number between 12,000 and 13,000 in the six months that ended on May 31.
Apple says it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data for the six months ended in May.
The National Security Agency may soon reveal more details of its secret surveillance program following word from tech giants about the number of user data requests by the government, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Facebook’s top attorney says after a week of negotiations with national security officials, the company is allowed to make new revelations about government orders for user data.
For years, top officials of the Bush and Obama administrations dismissed fears about secret government data-mining by reassuring Congress that there were no secret nets trawling for Americans’ phone and Internet records.
The national intelligence director said the disclosure of an Internet surveillance program is “reprehensible” and a document leak about a phone records program could cause long-lasting and irreversible harm to the nation’s ability to respond to threats.
Feinstein (D-San Francisco) spoke to reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference after the Obama administration defended the National Security Agency’s need to collect the records.