Aug 302013
 August 30, 2013  Business, Featured News, Govt, Surveillance, U.S.

Mike Masnick writes:

So, last night Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the administration will start releasing some data on how many FISA records it seeks, and how many “targets” there are. In a first draft of that post, I had originally speculated that this hopefully meant the various tech companies could finally add FISA request numbers to their transparency reports, as they’d requested. However, after reading Clapper’s statement carefully, it seemed fairly obvious that what they were releasing was a lot more limited than what the tech companies have been asking for — including the number of people impacted. Given that, I removed the paragraph about how it might impact tech companies, because it seemed likely that the feds weren’t actually going to allow the tech companies to reveal some basic metadata about the FISA requests they receive. Indeed, today was the (many times extended) deadline for the DOJ to respond to the legal filings by various tech companies to publish those numbers, and it appears that the DOJ has officially turned down the request.

Read more on TechDirt.

So suppose the big guns in tech got together and put the government on notice that starting on _______ date, they were going to start disclosing the data – with or without the government’s consent.  What would the government do if the tech companies stuck together? Could DOJ prosecute? Sure. But would they? They need the businesses’ cooperation. Maybe it’s time for the tech companies and providers to just say “NO” to the government’s demands for less than adequate transparency. 


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