Google asks feds to clear the air on spying

by Curtis Lee Fulton

Today in a public letter sent to the US Attorney General and FBI director, Google requested permission to publish “aggregate numbers” of requests for user information from the Feds, as well as the “scope” of the requests. Google says it’s received 8,438 requests from the Feds during the last half of 2012, but it legally can’t offer more details.

Last week defense contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of the Fed’s so-called PRISM citizen spy program and implicated Google and other firms as complicit in domestic snooping. CEO Larry Page has said his company has “not joined any program that would give the US government—or any other government—direct access to our servers.”

Sounding a touch Nixon-y, Google claimed in today’s letter that more details about government data requests would “show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide.”