Google, Yahoo, Facebook ask more data query disclosure

Google, Yahoo, Facebook ask more data query disclosure
An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.

WASHINGTON - Google, Facebook and Yahoo filed court requests Monday to disclose more about US government's national security data requests, saying media reports on the matter have been misleading and harmful.

Yahoo filed its petition with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, saying the government can protect public safety "without precluding Internet companies from sharing the number of national security requests they may receive."

"Ultimately, withholding such information breeds mistrust and suspicion - both of the United States and of companies that must comply with government legal directives," Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell said in a blog post.

Facebook also filed a court request, saying more transparency is needed.

"The actions and statements of the US government have not adequately addressed the concerns of people around the world about whether their information is safe and secure with Internet companies," Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch wrote in a blog post.

"We believe there is more information that the public deserves to know, and that would help foster an informed debate about whether government security programs adequately balance privacy interests when attempting to keep the public safe."

Google meanwhile filed an amended petition with the same court, which handles secret US government requests, saying media reports on the subject have been "false and misleading," and have hurt Google's reputation.

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