Facebook, Twitter join Google’s call for surveillance transparency

The US Government has been under heavy-fire recently over leaked documents such as PRISM; showing the extent of potentially unwarranted surveillance operations. Companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter were all pulled into question; now they’re calling for transparency…

At first glance many would think “convenient timing” but, in fairness to those involved, many have taken steps previously for their relevant company to be totally open about aspects including takedown requests and data information requests.

Just over a month ago, I’d reported on the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) independent “Who has your back?” report for 2013. In this document; both Google and Twitter publish transparency reports. Only Twitter publishes government data requests. Whilst Facebook? They publish neither.

Twitter’s GC, Alex Macgillivray, posted on the service: “Agree with Google, @SenJeffMerkley & others—we’d like more NSL transparency and Twitter supports efforts to make that happen.”

Although both other companies may be “jumping on the bandwagon” so to speak, Google is taking the lead in pushing for these efforts to become reality.

Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, calls for the company to be legally allowed to publish in its ‘Transparency Report’ the exact numbers of national security requests.

Had the government been more lenient in providing this information previously, such an outcry as recently seen would have been avoidable.

Do you support Google’s call for more government transparency?

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