They asked congress to pass law requiring the government to make transparency reports and enable firms to disclose user information requests without any court permission
Several technology firms including Apple, Google and Facebook have sought more disclosures about the US government’s requests for user data for national security.
Companies including LinkedIn, Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter and several others, the tech firms have demanded more transparency of secret data collection in a letter to the US President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, National Intelligence Director James Clapper, National Security Agency (NSA) Director General Keith Alexander and other congress national security leaders.
Tech firms also sought permission for allowing them to often report statistics on the number and scope of user data requests carried out under specific authorities, and their impact on the number of individuals, accounts or devices.
National Security Agency director Keith Alexander was cited by Aspen Security Forum as saying that he was open to the idea but that officials were trying to determine a way to disclose that information without jeopardising FBI investigations.
"We just want to make sure we do it right, that we don’t impact anything ongoing with the FBI. I think that’s the reasonable approach," Alexander said.
Reports reveal that the tech firms have been rushing to assert their independence following ex-US security contractor Edward Snowden’s suggestion that the government directly accessed their PCs as part of the NSA’s secret surveillance programme known as Prism.