First Amendment

Google asks intelligence court to relax gag orders on secret data requests

Citing its First Amendment rights, Google has asked the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to relax long-standing gag orders restricting what can be said about the information the court requests.

In a Tuesday motion (PDF) that seeks a declaratory judgment, the Internet search-engine Goliath says it wants to publish data about the total number of requests Google receives and the number of accounts affected, according to an article on the Technology page of the Washington Post (reg. req.).

Agence France-Presse, CNET News and The Next Web also have stories on Tuesday’s announcement by Google.

“Greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” a company statement explains, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Google already makes regular public reports about data demands by the U.S. and foreign governments.

See also: “ACLU sues Obama administration over NSA phone-records ‘dragnet’” “As Eric Holder promises justice, Snowden may have more US secrets stored on thumb drive”

ABC News: “NSA: ‘Over 50’ Terror Plots Foiled by Data Dragnets”

Mother Jones: “Charts: Here’s How Often Google and Facebook Say Yes to Government Snoops”

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