Google is seeking permission to publish details of how many requests for user data it receives from US authorities, as it seeks to rebuff claims the government has open access to its servers.
The search giant has published a letter sent to the US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller asking them to waive government nondisclosure agreements covering the number of national security requests it receives. Google is also seeking permission to reveal the number of accounts covered by those requests, claiming the figures will help it fight current speculation about the level of access it offers government agencies.
“We…ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures - in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide,” chief legal officer, David Drummond, wrote in the letter.
Web users made it clear that they don’t believe the firm isn’t operating an open door policy for government requests in comments left on a previous blog post by Drummond, with one accusing the firm of ‘twisting the truth’.
Google is suffering the backlash after being named as one of nine leading web firms whose servers are being directly tapped by US and UK security forces. Information including audio and video chats, pictures, emails, and connection logs have all reportedly been accessed by the system.