U.S gov’t reaches deal with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn to allow data disclosures on national security orders

“Technology companies and privacy advocates are praising a new government compromise that will allow the Internet’s leading companies to disclose more information about how often they are ordered to turn over customer information to the government in national security investigation,” Jesse J. Holland reports or The Associated Press.

“The Justice Department on Monday reached agreements with Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. that would allow them to disclose data on national security orders the companies have received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Holland reports. “While the compromise doesn’t allow companies to disclose everything they wished, and allows them to disclose more than the government originally wanted them to, both sides seemed relatively satisfied with the agreement filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has the final say.”

“The five companies welcomed the deal, but said more needs to be done. “We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive,” the companies said in a joint statement. ‘While this is a very positive step, we’ll continue to encourage Congress to take additional steps to address all of the reforms we believe are needed,'” Holland reports. “Apple said on its website, ‘We believe strongly that our customers have the right to understand how their personal information is being handled, and we are pleased the government has developed new rules that allow us to more accurately report law enforcement orders and national security orders in the U.S.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple issues update on U.S. NSA and law enforcement orders – January 27, 2014
Apple releases ‘Report on Government Information Requests’ – November 5, 2013
Apple, Google, dozens of others push Obama administration to disclose U.S. surveillance requests – July 19, 2013
Apple: Since December 2012, we have received U.S. gov’t requests for customer data for up to 10,000 accounts – June 17, 2013


  1. Notice how Apple isn’t one of the companies, yet Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are. What do those 3 companies have in common? They love collecting your information. I think that it’s a smart move for Apple to not have any stake in this. This agreement is just a way for the US Government to gather more information on its citizens without us knowing. 2014 is slowly turning out like 1984.

    1. What one news source said last night was that ‘these five companies’ can follow the new rules, ‘but no one else’.

      IOW: This is NOT a reform. This is merely an agreement with these five. This EXCLUDES Apple, if the report is correct.

      So WTF is this agreement actually good for? I suspect Apple stayed out of the agreement because it is, in fact, bullshit.

      BUT: I want more data about what’s actually going on here.

      1. I would guess that those companies that have already agreed to ‘some level of cooperation’ with the NSA, ie the 5 companies mentioned, that already disclose ‘some’ information…

        Apple would be excluded because as we know Apple is fighting to protect it’s users’ privacy and has not cooperated easily. The DOJ is therefore using it’s legal power to prosecute and smear Apple so as to apply pressure …

  2. Apple should keep the personal information on off shore servers and only stream and service the iDevices and Macs from the closest server farms. Oh, and flip the government the bird.

  3. Don’t be fooled by watching what one hand is doing and ignoring the other hand. Yeah yeah everyone and their dog is praising the government compromise that will allow these companies more info about how often they are ordered to turn over customer information to the government.

    Butt weight, what about NSA disclosing how much of its stolen data it is providing to tech companies in order to maintain their competitive edge against others. I mean face it, it is well known that the United States are losers on a level playing field, and as they are now clearly a terrorist nation, industrial espionage should not surprise anyone. Snowden has revealed this using Siemens as an example:

    “If there is information at Siemens that they [the NSA] think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.”

    Sounds like a pretty clear cut case of thievery to me. Of course I’m sure the terrorist politicians will find some rhetorical spin to make it appear legal, after all if Hitler was able to do it, certainly the repubicans and demoncrats can as well.

    The total lack of ethics and morality demonstrated by this terrorist nation surely will lead down their path of abysmal failure with attempts to take this stolen information and pass it on to American companies that are willing to be as decrepit as their government overseers. This is only another continuation of attempting to be a threat to world security, a goal that the US is desperately attempting to demonstrate to the free world as their empire continues to fall.

    1. A note to hannahjs: I read your post last night (several times) and was looking forward to replying to it this morning but it’s no longer there. Thank you for your insightful comments, they did not go unnoticed.

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