Claiming that "such information would be invaluable to our adversaries," the U.S. Department of Justice has denied the petition by technology giants Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and LinkedIn from disclosing "more information about the frequency with which they are contacted by the U.S. government to give up user data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."
Such information would be invaluable to our adversaries, who could thereby derive a clear picture of where the Governments surveillance efforts are directed and how its surveillance activities change over time, the brief said. If our adversaries know which platforms the Government does not surveil, they can communicate over those platforms when, for example, planning a terrorist attack or the theft of state secrets.
Google said in a statement today, Were disappointed that the Department of Justice opposed our petition for greater transparency around FISA requests for user information. We also believe more openness in the process is necessary since no one can fully see what the government has presented to the court.
And Microsoft: We will continue to press for additional transparency, which is critical to understanding the facts and having an informed debate about the right balance between personal privacy and national security.
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