Google has released the latest version of its transparency report concerning government requests
. While they focus on how government requests for information have doubled over the past three years, they also have a not-at-all-subtle jab at the FISA Court and the DOJ for continuing to block their efforts to reveal how many FISA Amendments Act Section 702 requests (the so-called PRISM requests) they get from the government, and how many people it impacts. As you hopefully already know, Google (along with other tech companies) is in the process of suing the government
over this restriction on its free speech. You can see that demonstrated pretty clearly in the bottom righthand quadrant of the graphic they released. Just call it the "redacted" infographic.
Google's legal director on this issue, Richard Salgado, explains:
We want to go even further. We believe it’s your right to know what kinds of requests and how many each government is making of us and other companies. However, the U.S. Department of Justice contends that U.S. law does not allow us to share information about some national security requests that we might receive. Specifically, the U.S. government argues that we cannot share information about the requests we receive (if any) under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But you deserve to know.
Earlier this year, we brought a federal case to assert that we do indeed have the right to shine more light on the FISA process. In addition, we recently wrote a letter of support (PDF) for two pieces of legislation currently proposed in the U.S. Congress. And we’re asking governments around the world to uphold international legal agreements that respect the laws of different countries and guarantee standards for due process are met.
The longer the government keeps this form of censorship up, the worse it looks. What could possibly be "revealed" by letting Google and others say how many requests they've received under that act? The pervasive secrecy from the NSA may be a cultural trait, but there is no basis for it here.