Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Google Reports: FISA Email Related Requests Exploding

Google has announced on its blog:
We believe the public deserves to know the full extent to which governments request user information from Google. That’s why for the past four years we’ve shared and continuously expanded and updated information about government requests for user information in our Transparency Report.

Until now, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) opposed our efforts to publish statistics specifically about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests. Under FISA, the government may apply for orders from a special FISA Court to require U.S. companies to hand over users’ personal information and the content of their communications. Although FISA was passed by elected representatives and is available for anyone to read, the way the law is used is typically kept secret. Last summer’s revelations about government surveillance remind us of the challenges that secrecy can present to a democracy that relies on public debate.

Last year we filed a lawsuit asking the FISA Court to let us disclose the number of FISA requests we may receive and how many users/accounts they include. We’d previously secured permission to publish information about National Security Letters, and FISA requests were the only remaining type of demands excluded from our report.

Today, for the first time, our report on government requests for user information encompasses all of the requests we receive, subject only to delays imposed by the DoJ regarding how quickly we can include certain requests in our statistics.
The amount of user/accounts "content requests" is exploding. According to the data released by Google, for the period January 2009 to June 2009, the number of requests was only between 2,000 to 2,999. In January 2013 to December 2013, the number of requests was between 9,000 and 9,999. The number of requests was even higher for the period January 2013 to June 2013, with Google reporting 12,000 to 12,999 FISA user/accounts content requests.

Here's the data:

1 comment:

  1. That's because we have had a 300-500% increase in terrorism, but, thankfully, the DHS has been able to thwart their violent and heinous activities with programs like FISA.