In the wake of the NSA’s PRISM scandal, tech companies have been on the defensive, especially because many of them had been forced to comply to U.S. government’s data requests. These companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, have now asked the U.S. government to allow them to publicly reveal all the data requests they receive from different governmental agencies.
Sending data requests to tech companies has been a practice used by a number of U.S. intelligence agencies for a long while. The companies that routinely receive these requests in huge numbers include the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
Since these data requests are usually generated through the courts, tech companies are forced to comply with them. Google has been publishing few details of such data requests in its regular ‘Transparency Report.’ But the companies are now seeking permission to divulge more details of such data requests to the public.
Tech companies are pushing for this because in the wake of the PRISM leaks, users have been increasingly skeptical of the role of these companies in sharing their data with government bodies. Although Google, Facebook and others have vehemently denied being a part of PRISM, concerns continue to be cited about their roles.
The request launched by the tech companies has only added to the pressure that the U.S. government is currently facing. A number of civil rights organizations, privacy activists and major internet celebrities have launched concerted campaigns, calling for proper legislation on the issue of users’ data privacy.