Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Google Fighting to Lift FISA Court Gag Orders

Google Fighting to Lift FISA Court Gag Orders:
Take the gag off the GoogGoogle is filing a petition to
try to use the First Amendment to claim that it has a right to
speak about the information the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Court is demanding from it. Via
The Washington Post
:

Google is preparing to ask the secretive Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court to ease long-standing gag orders over data
requests it makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional
right to speak about information it’s forced to give the
government.
The legal filing, which cites the First Amendment’s guarantee of
free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant
to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about
sweeping National Security Agency surveillance of Internet
traffic.
Google, one of nine companies named in NSA documents as
providing information to the top-secret PRISM program, has demanded
that U.S. officials give it more leeway to describe the company’s
relationship with the government. Google and the other companies
involved have sought to reassure users that their privacy is being
protected from unwarranted intrusions.
Google isn’t actually asking to release details, just the
specific number of FISA court requests upon them and the actual
number of users affected.
In March, a
federal judge ruled
that the gag orders that came with National
Security Letters were unconstitutional violations of free speech,
though her ruling is currently suspended so the government can
mount an appeal