Google asks to disclose details of NSA spying

by Brendan Sasso, The Hill
June 12, 2013

Google asked the Justice Department for permission on Tuesday to disclose more details about national security requests for its users’ data.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, Google asked to reveal information about the number and scope of national security requests for data, including court orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Google already reveals statistics about government requests for user data in its Transparency Reports, but the company is barred from discussing or even acknowledging the existence of FISA orders.

In the letter, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said the company has worked “tremendously hard” to earn its users’ trust.

“For example, we offer encryption across our services; we have hired some of the best security engineers in the world; and we have consistently pushed back on overly broad government requests for our users’ data,” he wrote.

Google and other major Internet companies denied news reports last week that they have given the National Security Agency direct access to their servers to mine their users’ data as part of a program called PRISM.

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