Google is petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for approval to reveal detailed information about the amount of national security requests it receives.
The company filed a motion Tuesday seeking permission to share the information as it and other large tech companies attempt to shield themselves from the growing backlash over damaging revelations that they turned over user data to the National Security Agency's clandestine PRISM program.
Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple have all shared information on government requests they've received in recent months, but Google said that information lumps together national security requests with criminal requests and doesn't help users gain a better understanding of the situation.
Google, which already issues an annual transparency report detailing law enforcement requests, is seeking "declaratory judgment" that it has rights, under the 1st Amendment, to detail the exact amount of national security, or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, requests it receives. Google would also like to report how many of its users are affected by those requests and add those numbers to its transparency report without lumping them with other figures.
"Google seeks to be transparent regarding FISA requests that may be or have been served upon it, if any, and to respond to false or misleading statements about the scope of its compelled disclosure under national security authorities," the filing reads.
The Silicon Valley giant was one of nine tech companies named in reports that said they give the National Security Agency direct access to their servers through the PRISM program. Google has denied the claim and says incorrect reports have hurt its business. Sharing more information on FISA requests would help it regain users' trust, Google said.
"Google's reputation and business has been harmed by the false or misleading reports in the media, and Google's users are concerned by the allegations," the filing reads. "Google must respond to such claims with more than generalities."
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