The US Government has asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) not to allow tech firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other firms to publish the demands they receive for user data.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) has told the court that if the tech giants could publish such statistics, the information would be 'invaluable to our adversaries'.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft and the other companies claim media reports regarding the data requests were mistaken and they want to reveal information including how many of their users' details are requested in surveillance demands.
The DoJ said in reply: "Such information would be invaluable to our adversaries, who could thereby derive a clear picture of where the government's surveillance efforts are directed and how its surveillance activities change over time, including when the government initiates or expands surveillance efforts involving providers or services that adversaries previously considered 'safe.'"
Yahoo said in a statement that it and many other technology firms have made the commitment to share the number and type of government requests received for users' data through regular reports.
"The U.S. Government's decision to block our ability to share with our users more granular information related to national security requests ultimately breeds mistrust and suspicion - both of the United States and of companies that must comply with government legal directives," the firm said.
"As we've said before, the United States should lead the world when it comes to transparency, accountability, and respect of civil liberties and human rights."
In July 2013, the firms requested a government surveillance transparency report, in the wake of the initial disclosures from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
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