Microsoft Stands With Google in US Spying Suit After Talks Collapse

Friday, 30 Aug 2013 10:02 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Microsoft on Friday said that a battle to shed light on secret US government requests for Internet user data would play out in court after failed talks.

Microsoft and Google filed suits in federal court in June, arguing a right to make public more information about user data requests made under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The technology titans agreed six times to extend the deadline for the government to respond to the lawsuits, allowing time for negotiations that "ended in failure," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post.

"To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart," Smith said.

"But today our two companies stand together... We believe we have a clear right under the US Constitution to share more information with the public."

Silicon Valley Internet titans want to be able to provide users with better insight into what information the government gets its hands on.

The issue caught fire after Edward Snowden, a former IT contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed that US authorities were tapping into Internet user data, sometimes using national security letters that bar companies from telling anyone about the requests.

US officials on Thursday said they would begin publishing annual tallies of national security requests for Internet user data, but that step is not enough, according to Smith.

"For example, we believe it is vital to publish information that clearly shows the number of national security demands for user content, such as the text of an email," Smith said.

He argued that, along with providing numbers of requests, disclosures should provide context regarding what is being sought.

"We believe it's possible to publish these figures in a manner that avoids putting security at risk," Smith said.

"With the failure of our recent negotiations, we will move forward with litigation in the hope that the courts will uphold our right to speak more freely."

There has been a wave of legal action since revelations in the media about the PRISM program, believed to collect vast amounts of phone and Internet data as part of efforts to protect national security.

Internet companies have stated they release information only in response to specific court orders, and claim that reports about providing easy access to US authorities are exaggerated.

US authorities insist the surveillance programs are entirely lawful and have helped thwart dozens of terror attacks.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rabbit Massages, Gambling Monkeys in Coburn's Final Wastebook

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 09:12 AM

In his final “Wastebook” – Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual report of wasteful government spending – the retiring Repub . . .

NYT: Nation Steadily Losing Confidence in Obama

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 08:15 AM

The nation is losing confidence in President Obama and his administration with every passing month, according to an anal . . .

With New Freedoms, Young in Tunisia Turn to ISIS

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 07:52 AM

Of the Middle East countries convulsed by the Arab Spring, Tunisia is considered the singular, democratic success - whic . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved