Google Updates Transparency Report, Still Can’t Disclose FISA Requests


Google updated its Transparency Report today, which gives users more insight into the amount of government requests for user information.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is still not allowing Google, or any other company for that matter, to publish data related to FISA requests.

FISA stands for “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” and because of their relation to matters of national security, the government has yet to budge on disclosure.

However, what the tech giant can share is that since 2009, government requests have more than doubled worldwide, and tripled in the United States.

From January to June 2013, here were the top 10 countries requesting user information that resulted in some data being produced:

  • United States – 83 percent of 10,918 total requests.
  • India – 64 percent of 2,691 total requests.
  • Germany – 48 percent of 2,311 total requests.
  • France – 49 percent of 2,011 total requests.
  • U.K. – 67 percent of 1,274 total requests.
  • Brazil – 65 percent of 1,239 total requests.
  • Italy – 38 percent of 901 total requests.
  • Spain – 55 percent of 647 total requests.
  • Australia – 64 percent of 645 total requests.
  • Poland – 23 percent of 496 total requests.

Out of the 10,918 goverment requests in the U.S., here was the breakdown:

  • 68 percent were subpoenas.
  • 22 percent were warrants.
  • 6 percent were “other” court orders.
  • 2 percent were pin register orders.
  • 1 percent were emergency disclosure requests.

Google went on to comment about FISA requests, and the government wanting them to remain secretive.

“We want to go even further. We believe it’s your right to know what kinds of requests and how many each government is making of us and other companies. However, the U.S. Department of Justice contends that U.S. law does not allow us to share information about some national security requests that we might receive. Specifically, the U.S. government argues that we cannot share information about the requests we receive (if any) under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But you deserve to know.”

This is the eighth time Google has updated its Transparency Report since first publishing in 2009, and you can learn more at the official website.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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