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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.