SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft on Friday said that a battle to shed light on secret US government requests for Internet user data would play out in court after failed peace talks.
Microsoft and Google filed suits in federal court in June, arguing a right to make public more information about user data requests made under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The technology titans agreed six times to extend the deadline for the government to respond to the lawsuits, allowing time for negotiations that "ended in failure," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post.
"To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart," Smith said.
"But today our two companies stand together... We believe we have a clear right under the US Constitution to share more information with the public."
Silicon Valley Internet titans want to be able to provide users with better insight into what information the government gets its hands on.
The issue caught fire after Edward Snowden, a former IT contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed that US authorities were tapping into Internet user data, sometimes using national security letters that bar companies from telling anyone about the requests.
US officials on Thursday said they would begin publishing annual tallies of national security requests for Internet user data, but that step is not enough, according to Smith.