Following the revelation that the US government’s National Security Agency (NSA) has allegedly been accessing data from technology giants through the Prism programme, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have asked the US government to allow them to disclose requests for the handover of data.
Since the leaked documents have been disclosed, the US has confirmed the existence of the programme and is coming under increasing pressure to end its practice and launch a full investigation.
As part of the scandal many major organisations have come under ridicule for allowing huge amounts of citizen data to be accessed by the counter-terrorism programme. This has sparked a demand for complete transparency. Microsoft said that this transparency ‘would help the community understand and debate these important issues’.
Google’s Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, wrote to the US Attorney General asking for permission to publish ‘aggregate number of security requests’ his letter went on to say that ‘Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made’.
Ted Ullyot (Facebook) expresses that the Social Networking site wants to provide ‘a complete picture of the government requests we receive, and how we respond’.
Exposure of the Prims programme was leaked by the former CIA employee Edward Snowden, claiming to the Guardian that the NSA had the power to tap into anyone’s emails whenever they want, although the tech giants are denying giving such access to the US authority.
US politicians have since labelled Snowden as a traitor and have stated that they are pursuing him with the intent to prosecute.
Support for the whistle-blower has been expressed by the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange was quoted by the ADP new agency saying ‘Edward Snowdwn is a hero who has informed the public about one of the most serious events of the decade, which was the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state’.
Source: BBC News