Tag Archive: National security letter


Google Asks Intelligence Court To Let It Release Data

 

 

” Google Inc. (GOOG) urged the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to publish the aggregate numbers and scope of national security requests it receives from the U.S. government.

The filing with the secret court, which issues warrants for collecting foreign intelligence inside the U.S., is the latest effort by Google to ease restrictions on disclosing the information the government has asked for under the surveillance program code-named Prism.

“We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request their data — and Google was the first company to release numbers for National Security Letters,” Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google in Washington, said in an e-mail. To promote greater transparency, the company is seeking “to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” she said.”

 

Google is late to the party .

 

” Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), yesterday became the latest technology company to give details of government data collection, following disclosures by Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., all of whom have revealed thousands of warrants for data from government entities.

Yahoo!, the largest U.S. Web portal, said it got as many as 13,000 requests for information from U.S. law enforcement agencies in the six months ending in May, with the most common types related to fraud, homicides and criminal investigations, Yahoo said in a posting on Tumblr. The Sunnyvale, California-based company said it can’t lawfully break out FISA requests, and it urged the U.S. government to reconsider its stance on the issue.”

 

 

 

 

 

Judge: FBI Doesn’t Need A Warrant To Access Google Customer Data

 

 

 

 

” In what looks very much like a blow to that whole Constitutional thing about due process, a federal judge has ordered Google to release customer data to the FBI, despite the fact that the FBI has no warrant for the information. 

The FBI made its request via 19 “National Security Letters.” Here’s CNET with a short explainer on what National Security Letters are:

NSLs are controversial because they allow FBI officials to send secret requests to Web and telecommunications companies requesting “name, address, length of service,” and other account information about users as long as it’s relevant to a national security investigation. No court approval is required, and disclosing the existence of the FBI’s secret requests is not permitted.

 

The FBI has been eager to ramp up its surveillance on social media networks, and up until now, companies like Facebook and Google went with it. According to EFF’s attorney Matt Zimmerman, of the roughly 300,000 NSLs the government has issued since 2000, only “four or five” recipients have tried to challenge them.”

 

 

More on the subject here : Judge orders Google to comply with warrantless spy requests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOJ Sought To Surveil Several Thousand U.S. Citizens In 2012

 

 

” The Justice Department sought the authority to spy on several thousand “United States persons” in 2012, according to a letter the department recently sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“These sought information pertaining to 6,233 different United States persons,” wrote Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik in the letter.

The report does not specify how many of these National Security Letter requests were granted. The requests differ from typical subpoenas, because they seek only non-content information (such as phone numbers, instead of the content of phone conversations) and do not require approval from the judicial branch. “

(RELATED: Read the report)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them

 

 

 

 

” Ultra-secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech, a federal judge in California ruled in a decision released Friday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing so-called NSLs across the board, in a stunning defeat for the Obama administration’s surveillance practices. She also ordered the government to cease enforcing the gag provision in any other cases. However, she stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We are very pleased that the Court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute,” said Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a challenge to NSLs on behalf of an unknown telecom that received an NSL in 2011. “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.” “

 

 

 

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