googlelockAs pressure on the federal government continues to mount over requests for user data from major technology companies, Google has decided to swipe back at the government.

The search giant has submitted a motion to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, asking it to lift a gag order that prohibits Google from disclosing the number of requests the company receives each year under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In a copy of the filing obtained by Wired (PDF), Google says it has a right under the First Amendment to release the totals.

The company sent an open letter to the Justice Department last week requesting the ability to disclose FISA requests, but today’s filing underscores the inability of the two parties were unable to reach an agreement.

Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have published statistics of the requests for data that they receive, but did not differentiate between requests made for criminal investigations and requests submitted under FISA.

In a statement yesterday, Google claimed disclosures following that model were too vague, saying: “Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Mike_Acker

    the thing to understand about CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, such as the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution — is that these apply to the government — not to the people.

    the only thing you can do with Constitutional Law is to challenge the legality of a PUBLIC LAW

    PUBLIC LAW is enacted by Congress and signed by the president — by the authority of the Constitutional Law — which was granted by the People. The states actually,–1789, and amended from time to time since.

    Does FISC authority to issue gag orders violate the First Amendment? This could be a monumental Freedom issue that will probably have to go to SCOTUS.

Job Listings on GeekWork