Tech Firms Release Details on NSA Snooping Requests


On Monday, the nation’s largest tech companies began releasing data on the NSA’s requests for customer information.  The data shows that the government requested information on thousands of Americans. 

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumbler were allowed to reveal the government’s requests on account of a deal they made via a legal deal from the government. 

The figures from 2012 and 2013 showed that companies such as Google and Microsoft were compelled by the government to provide information on as many as 10,000 customer accounts in a six-month period. Yahoo complied with government requests for information on more than 40,000 accounts in the same period.

The effect of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s domestic sureveillance has had consequences for the industry. “The data releases by the major tech companies offered a mix of dispassionate graphics, reassurances and protests, seeking to alleviate customer concerns about government spying while pressuring national security officials about the companies’ constitutional concerns. “

Microsoft was particularly critical about the surveillance efforts. “In a company blog post, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith scolded the U.S. and allied governments for failing to renounce the reported mass interception of Internet data carried by communications cables.”  

“Despite the president’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies,” Smith said in a Microsoft blog release. He added that Microsoft planned to press the government “for more on this point, in collaboration with others across our industry.”

LinkedIn also had an opinion on the data dragnet. “We will also continue to advocate for still narrower disclosure ranges, which will provide a more accurate picture of the number of national security-related requests,” said Erika Rottenberg, LinkedIn’s general counsel.

A spokesman for the Office of Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the tech industry comments. 


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