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Facebook, Microsoft disclose FISA requests, sort of

Mark Hachman | June 17, 2013
Both Facebook and Microsoft asked for and received permission to disclose FISA and other government requests for information following the Prism scandal.

If all that sounds so vague to be almost useless, well, Google felt the same way. Google told the  Verge:

"We have always believed that it's important to differentiate between different types of government requests," Google said. "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."

Twitter agreed.

We agree with @Google: It's important to be able to publish numbers of national security requests—including FISA disclosures—separately. — Benjamin Lee

Both Microsoft and Facebook said that the requests were miniscule, compared to their user base, with Facebook claiming that it represented less than a tiny fraction of one percent of their user accounts.

"We hope this helps put into perspective the numbers involved, and lays to rest some of the hyperbolic and false assertions in some recent press accounts about the frequency and scope of the data requests that we receive," Facebook said.


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