Google Once Again Pushes For Transparency When Dealing With Federal Data RequestsBy: Zach Walton - September 9, 2013
Does Google hand over your private information to the feds? The company says it doesn’t, but it can’t prove this because of gag orders placed on it by the federal government. That’s why Google, along with Microsoft, have petitioned the government to allow it to be more transparent in reporting the number of federal data requests it receives.
Google submitted its original petition to the FISA court back in June when it argued that it had a First Amendment right to publish an aggregate figure of all the federal data requests it receives. Now that same petition has been resubmitted with a new request. Google wants the FISA court to hold the debate on whether or not tech companies can publish federal data request numbers in the open.
The public is not allowed to listen in on any hearings that go on in the FISA court. What’s worse is that there’s no representative of the public in said hearings. The court only hears from the government and then approves or denies the request. Google doesn’t outright say that needs to change, but it does call for greater transparency in the FISA court. The company says its only natural given the “important public policy issues at stake.”
Besides resubmitting its petition, Google notes that it will be meeting with the President’s Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology today. The company says that it will present the same petition at this meeting demanding the government let it be more transparent regarding data requests.
While Google is resubmitting its petition, Microsoft last month said it would be getting a little more aggressive in its quest for transparency. The company announced that it would be filing a lawsuit against the government in the hope that it can force transparency with the help of the court.[Image: Google]