Google & Twitter To Reveal Number Of National Security Requests Separately


Unlike Microsoft, Facebook, and today, Apple, which publicly published information regarding the number of requests made for customer information by the government over a 6-month period, Google is hoping to reveal its request statistics differently.

The search giant said in an official statement to AllThingsD that the large number of National Security letters, together with criminal requests, would be a “step back” for its users, so it wants to split them up.

The full statement provided by a Google spokesperson can be read below:

“We have always believed that it’s important to differentiate between different types of government requests. We already publish criminal requests separately from National Security Letters. Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users. Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.”

It appears that Twitter is also taking a similar stance. The legal director of Twitter, Benjamin Lee, publically tweeted: “We agree with @Google: It’s important to be able to publish numbers of national security requests—including FISA disclosures—separately.”

This is a rather interesting scenario, as it proves that the battle for public transparency on what the NSA is doing behind the scenes is far from over. We’ll wait to hear what comes from Google’s and Twitter’s requests, and we’ll keep you updated on any movements.