Google Asks US Gov. to Allow Google to Publish Surveillance Data

June 11, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Google sent a letter to the Department of Justice on June 11 asking for permission to publish some information about national security requests, in the wake of the revelation that internet providers provided data to the department.

“We have always made clear that we comply with valid legal requests,” wrote David Drummond, chief legal officer for Google. “And last week, the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged that service providers have received Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests.”

The acknowledgement came after the monitoring was revealed by Edward Snowden, a former government contractor who also revealed that the NSA was monitoring phone data from Verizon.

Drummond in the letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller that Google wants to publish “aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope” in its transparency report.

“Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users’ data are simply untrue,” wrote Drummond. “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’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made,” he added. “Google has nothing to hide.”


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