IAPP-GDPR Web Banners-300x250-FINAL

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Tech Companies Permitted To Disclose Combined Gov’t Data Requests

The New York Times reports that on June 14, technology companies were given permission to disclose some data on national security requests publicly but could only do so if the numbers were combined with all law enforcement data requests—including those from state and local governments. In a statement, Google has said the authorization is a “step back for users…Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.” Since early last week, Google has pressed the government to allow it to be more transparent about FISA court requests.  Twitter, which also disclosed a transparency report without national security requests, backed Google in a tweet, “We agree with @Google: It’s important to be able to publish numbers of national security requests—including FISA disclosures—separately.”

Also on Friday, Facebook and Microsoft published reports on how much data has been disclosed to government authorities. Facebook said that in the second half of 2012, it had 9,000 to 10,000 requests for user data from local, state and federal agencies. Apple published its “Commitment to Customer Privacy” on its website and disclosed government requests for user data as well.

The New York Times’ Somini Sengupta, reports that the FISA court has ruled that portions of an earlier opinion could be published to the public. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has pressed the court to allow disclosure of the request under the Freedom of Information Act and called the ruling “a modest one.”

President Obama and U.S. Lawmakers

The Obama administration is considering whether to declassify a court order permitting the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect millions of phone records of Americans, NPR reports. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the collection of metadata from phone records was legal and authorized by Congress. McDonough also said Obama “welcomes a public debate on this question because he does say and he will say in the days ahead that we have to find the right balance, and we will not keep ourselves on a perpetual war footing.”

On Meet the Press, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said the American people are owed a “fulsome debate in open about the extent of these programs.” Udall is set to introduce legislation to reduce the government’s phone data collection practices. He said of the planned legislation, “This legislation strikes the right balance in protecting our homeland while also respecting our Constitution.”

Trailblazing Lawsuit?

POLITICO reports on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that could break new legal ground. The ACLU suit argues that the NSA phone surveillance program violates the First Amendment and privacy rights and seeks to shut down the program altogether.

The ACLU’s Laura Murphy said, “If this (NSA phone surveillance) came up to the Supreme Court with this Supreme Court, they would declare it unconstitutional.”

Other experts are skeptical.

George Washington University Law Prof. Orin Kerr said the group’s arguments are “weak,” adding “the ACLU’s goal is probably to get discovery” in order to get more documents declassified rather than actually trying to win the case. 

And The Atlantic asks, "Why is it okay for corporations to collect this much data in the first place?"

Read more by Jedidiah Bracy:
FISA Rulings Put Tech Biz Between Rock and Hard Place; Revelations Continue
EU-U.S. Tensions on the Rise; Some Gov’t-Google Sharing Details Revealed
AUSTRALIA—NSA Leaks Reach Australian Shores
Tech Firms, Lawmakers Respond to NSA Leak


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Advertise in IAPP Publications

Find out how to get your message in front the people you want to reach. Download a media kit now.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

New Web Conferences Added!

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Staff

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Registration Open

New! Intensive two-day GDPR training led by the sharpest minds in the field. It's a can't-miss event.

The Congress Is Cancelled

The IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2015 is cancelled. Click through to learn more.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»