letter Stories January 28, 2015

We told you earlier this week about a letter sent from WikiLeaks to Google, asking why it took so long for the Mountain View company to notify them of federal warrants for their personal data. Google apparently stood up against the gag orders preventing them from doing so (via The Washington Post), saying it “challenged the secrecy from the beginning.”

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letter Stories June 18, 2013

Last week, we reported on a letter Google had sent to the U.S. government in which it asked for the release of national security request data. A week later, the company is now asking for the secretive Foreign Intelligence Court to lift a gag order, claiming that it has the constitutional right to clear its name after openly discussing government data requests.

A Google spokesperson says the company is asking the court to let it “publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” because “lumping national security requests together with criminal requests – as some companies have been permitted to do – would be a backward step for our users.” Google is essentially asking for more leeway to describe its relationship with the government following the NSA leak two weeks ago. It wants to publish the total numbers of requests the court makes and which users are affected. The company says that the First Amendment gives it the right to disclose the information it is forced to hand over to the government.

The full statement from Google follows: expand full story

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letter Stories June 11, 2013

Following Google’s denial of being involved in the PRISM surveillance claims in which the National Security Agency was accused of tapping into servers of 9 tech companies for details of user activity, Google today published a letter it just sent to the U.S. government requesting the release of more national security request data.

Google this morning sent a letter to the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation asking that it be allowed to publish “aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope.”

Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users’ data are simply untrue. However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation.

Google continued by noting that the numbers “would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide.”

The full letter is below: expand full story

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