Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Facebook is the third, but it won’t be the last. Today, Facebook joined Google and Microsoft in requesting permission from the government to provide increased transparency on the data demands it receives under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The company is succinct in its statement, which Mike Issac of AllThingsD excerpted. Written by Ted Ullyot, Facebook general counsel, it states that the company “strongly encourage[s] all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe.”
It continues, claiming that Facebook has “questioned the value of releasing a transparency report” given strict rules on what it can provide, given current law. Any report, given those limitations, would be incomplete and “therefore potentially [mislead] users.”
The ask is simple: “We urge the United States government to help make that possible by allowing companies to include information about the size and scope of national security requests we receive, and look forward to publishing a report that includes that information.”
Google and Microsoft made similar requests. Frankly, expect each of the listed eight firms that are a part of PRISM – whatever PRISM is finally determined to be – to make similar statements. This is not the first line dance of this sort: when the companies denied providing “direct” access to their servers, they did so in near prose lockstep.
Top Image Credit: Kevin Krejci
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.