What Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook Have Shared in Transparency Reports

By Diane Bullock  AUG 29, 2013 9:03 AM

How many security requests have they received, which online services and tools are targeted, and where do the requests originate?


If you’re of the mind that what you do online is your business -- and your business alone -- you should probably get offline. Unfortunately, unless you’ve learned how to live off of the grid in, say, a floating cabin, the Internet is one of the key weapons in your arsenal of daily survival.
As such, your life post-CompuServe and America Online (NYSE:AOL) is stored in a humongous network of worldwide data servers. And, whether by security breach, government surveillance, or the power of not-so-secret, super-secret National Security Letters (NSLs), that also means your life is basically up for grabs.
Tech companies feel pretty bad about their court-ordered loose lips -- take, for example, the 192,499 instances of being asked to cough up their users’ information and content to the FBI between 2003 and 2006 alone. So, for the past few years, they have started to get out in front of the problem.
Their solution? Full-disclosure. Or, at least partial.
A gag order has the telecom and tech companies hamstrung, unable to report the full scope and metrics of the NSLs that firms receive under the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the companies are currently fighting. For now, only limited and vague data is allowed to be made public. The following is a breakdown of the so-called transparency reports published by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Twitter, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and, most recently, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for all law-enforcement-requested data.
Each of these companies require subpoenas, court orders, warrants, or their legal equivalents before complying with criminal requests.

See also:

Google Inc Needs to Tread Lightly With Its Chromecast

Microsoft by the Numbers: What You Need to Know About the Post-Ballmer Era

New Device Shocks Facebook Addicts...Literally
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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