Tech companies release figures on FISA requests

Feb. 3, 2014 at 6:52 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Tech companies including Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft Monday released the number of requests from a secret U.S. court for their users' data.

PCWorld said the figures show the content of thousands of users' accounts has been sought in recent years by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court.

The secret court rules on requests for surveillance warrants for national security investigations.

Yahoo! said it received FISA requests involving content for between 30,000 and 30,999 accounts during the first half of 2013.

During the first half of 2013, Google said, it received requests involving the content of between 9,000 and 9,999 accounts during the first half of 2013. That was up from between 7,000 and 7,999 in the first half of 2011, PCWorld reported.

Microsoft received requests involving 15,000 to 15,999 accounts, up from 11,000 to 11,999 in the second half of 2011.

During the first half of 2012, Facebook said, it received requests involving the content of 4,000 to 4,999 users.

PCWorld said depending on the company, the content might include private messages, documents, photos or videos.

"Publishing these numbers is a step in the right direction," Richard Salgado, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security, wrote in a blog post breaking out the figures.

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