Quantcast
Latest Stories

Facebook, Microsoft bare US data requests



WASHINGTON—Internet giants Facebook and Microsoft say they received thousands of requests for data from US authorities last year but are prohibited from disclosing how many related to national security.

The two companies have come under heightened scrutiny since word leaked of a vast, covert Internet surveillance program US authorities insist targets only foreign terror suspects and has helped thwart attacks.

Facebook said Friday it had received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data affecting 18,000 to 19,000 accounts during the second half of last year, while Microsoft said it had received 6,000 to 7,000 requests affecting 31,000 to 32,000 accounts during the same period.

But those requests include criminal warrants, subpoenas and other orders, and both firms said they were prohibited by law from listing a separate tally for security-related requests or secret court orders concerning terror probes.

Release applauded

The Center for Democracy & Technology applauded the release as an “important step” but urged the government to allow the companies to release further details.

“We welcome this new information and thank Microsoft and Facebook for it, and will also continue to press for more information,” the Internet freedom group’s senior counsel Kevin Bankston said in a statement.

“We call on the Justice Department to allow such transparency reporting now, and for Congress to update the law to guarantee the right to engage in such reporting in the future, and we hope that the entire Internet and telecommunications industry will join us in that push.”

Microsoft’s deputy general counsel John Frank acknowledged that “what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues.”

The orders, which could only be disclosed in increments of 1,000, affect just a “tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base,” he added.

‘Not all requests complied with’

Facebook’s general counsel Ted Ullyot insisted the popular social network with over a billion members had “aggressively” protected users’ privacy and had not complied with all the requests.

“We frequently reject such requests outright, or require the government to substantially scale down its requests, or simply give the government much less data than it has requested. And we respond only as required by law,” he said.

Google, which already publishes a “Transparency Report” on such requests, has, meanwhile, asked the FBI and US Justice Department for permission to release separate tallies related to security probes, saying it has “nothing to hide.”

Major Internet firms have faced a public backlash since government contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of PRISM, a vast program that saw nine companies turn over user data to the US National Security Agency.

Leaked details of the program—first published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post—have reignited debate over the trade-offs between privacy and security more than a decade after the September 11 attacks.

Apple, Yahoo deny claims

The companies, which also include Apple and Yahoo, have denied claims the NSA could directly access their servers. US authorities have said the program was legal and limited.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers this week that the program could have prevented 9/11 and said the leaks had caused “significant harm to our nation and to our safety.”

He also confirmed that Snowden was the subject of a criminal investigation.

Snowden, a 29-year-old IT technician, has gone to ground in Hong Kong, where he had surfaced for media interviews after the leaks were published. He has vowed to contest any extradition order in court.

Hundreds of protesters staged a rally in rain-hit Hong Kong earlier to urge the city’s government to reject any request to extradite Snowden and to criticize the US surveillance programs.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post newspaper this week that there have been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, including targets in mainland China and Hong Kong.

The United States has yet to file a formal extradition request to Hong Kong, a former British colony that retained its separate legal system when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing ultimately retains control over defense and foreign affairs but China and Hong Kong’s governments have yet to comment on Snowden’s case.—Joseph Krauss


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges 2 mins elapsed Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid 3 mins elapsed 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs 17 mins elapsed Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork: JPII relics abound 25 mins elapsed 4 airline passengers from northern Mindanao cleared of MERS 37 mins elapsed Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft 51 mins elapsed Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident 1 hour elapsed Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: intelligence , Internet , security , US



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  2. ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  3. No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  4. Nokia to be named Microsoft Mobile
  5. Senator wants to probe PH slow Internet connection
  6. Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  7. Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  8. New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  9. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  10. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  1. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  2. Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  3. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  4. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  5. Senator wants to probe PH slow Internet connection
  6. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  7. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  8. Judge in Apple v. Samsung patent trial fed up with smart phones in court
  9. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  10. Nokia to be named Microsoft Mobile
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  10. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest

News

  • 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs
  • Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork: JPII relics abound
  • 4 airline passengers from northern Mindanao cleared of MERS
  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Sports

  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace