With more light being shed every day on the federal government and how many times they were actually reading what was considered private information, more companies are coming forward, asking the FISA courts to allow them to share more details about national security requests. Google (News - Alert) has already asked the courts to let it tell the public just what kind of information was asked for from the NSA, and now Microsoft (News - Alert) is following suit.
While branches of the federal government are moving quickly to take away the power they once granted the NSA and CIA, major U.S. corporations are trying to show the American public that they are still on the public’s side. Microsoft filed a petition with the FISA court late last week, asking to show the number of security-related requests it received from state, local and federal authorities. The FISA court published the motion on Wednesday.
“We continue to explore all available options to achieve the greater transparency we believe is needed on these issues,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a recently released statement. “The petition we filed last week with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is one part of this ongoing effort.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the filing, in which Microsoft argued that the federal government does not have the power to silence the computer giant on this issue. Microsoft also pointed out that members of the federal government are not being barred from speaking on the issue. Google, Yahoo, Facebook (News - Alert) and a handful of other companies have also petitioned the federal government to allow them to speak out about this issue.
The government has allowed a few companies to shed light on information requests, but only with extensive strings attached. Most of the companies that are asking to publish these findings were named in a surveillance program named PRISM.
Edited by Alisen Downey