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Tech Firms Furious After Denied Full View of Government Reply to Fisa Court

By IDG News Service

November 13, 2013

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Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn said in a Tuesday (November 12) court filing that the U.S. government has offered them only a "heavily redacted version" of its response to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court with regards to the companies' request for permission to release information on government data requests. The government submitted a response and a supporting declaration, denying all requests for greater transparency.

Hoping to restore user confidence that they are not sharing mass data with the government, the technology firms asked the court for permission to publish aggregate data about orders or directives received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) or the FISA Amendment Act. The Department of Justice objected to the request in a Sept. 30 filing, saying the information could "cause serious harm to the national security interests of the United States." The companies say they have repeatedly asked the government for an unredacted version and suggested workarounds such as permitting a review either by counsels with top-secret clearances or under non-disclosure agreements. The companies have asked the court to remove the redactions unless the government grants access to their lawyers.

From IDG News Service
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