Big Names In Tech Disclose Some Fed Data Requests

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Several major Silicon Valley firms disclosed figures on U.S. government and law enforcement data requests over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Facebook announced late Friday that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from all levels of government in the U.S., from local law enforcement to classified national security requests, in the second half of 2012 alone. Microsoft said Friday that it received between 6,000 and 7,000 requests from all levels of government in that same time period, while Apple disclosed in a statement late Sunday that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement from December 2012 through May 2013.

Google, which asked the government for permission last week to publish all data requests the company received, challenged the tech firms’ disclosures of partial data as a “step back” for its users.

“Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” a spokesman said in a statement quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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