Feeds

Web giants cry foul over US gov's refusal to budge on NSA spy gag orders

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook must keep because REDACTED

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Facebook are still fighting for permission to warn people who are under online surveillance, after their campaign for transparency was derailed by the US Department of Justice.

The web giants had asked the DoJ to lift restrictions on alerting users when they are being snooped on by intelligence agencies, as notifying those folks is banned by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

But the department refused the request and heavily redacted a document explaining why that ruling was made – which rather impedes the web companies in mounting an appeal against the thinking behind the decision.

According to an appeal filed by the firms yesterday, the DOJ provided a written notification of the ruling, but nearly every word of its justification for the decision was censored due to national security concerns.

"Unless the government reconsiders its refusal to accommodate the providers' legitimate need to understand the basis for the government's response, the providers respectfully request that this Court strike the redacted version of the government's brief and supporting declaration," the companies said in their filing [PDF].

The censored DoJ ruling, issued in late September, turned down a request from the internet titans that they be allowed to disclose additional information to their customers when a government agency has issued a demand for personal records under FISA.

The vendors launched their appeal in hopes of easing FISA rules and gaining more freedom to notify their customers and begin to quell some of the user outrage which arose when revelations surfaced of the extent to which the NSA and GCHQ have been spying on the online activities of citizens.

The companies are now pushing for any number of scenarios to scrutinize the DoJ's justification, ranging from temporary security clearances for their representatives to the use of a third-party moderator who could review and relay select information from the redacted portions of the report. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.