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Google Seeks Permission To Publish More National Security Request Data

Google Inc. (GOOG) Tuesday said it has requested the U.S. government to allow the Internet giant to publish the numbers of national security requests, including Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA disclosures in terms of the number and scope.

In a letter to the offices of the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was posted on the company's official blog, Google's chief legal officer David Drummond said the company asked ''to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope.''

''Google's numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide,'' it said.

Google noted that the government authorized the recent disclosure of general numbers for national security letters and there has been no adverse impact from its publication. According to the company, transparency here will serve the public interest without harming national security.

The request follows speculation in the media that the company's compliance of requests from the U.S. government gives the government unfettered access to its users' data. Google said such assertions in the press are ''simply untrue.''

Google said such speculation is fuelled by government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests.

GOOG closed down 1.2 percent on Tuesday at $879.81.

by RTT Staff Writer

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