Back in July, Microsoft and Google were among a number of tech giants who signed on to a coalition movement asking the U.S. government for more transparency when it comes to sharing the private online data of citizens. Today, the two companies have decided to move forward with litigation against the government, asking the courts to uphold their right to "speak more freely."
Concerns over how tech and social media companies hand over user data--such as emails--have risen in recent months, due to allegations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden and reports the government is attaining private documents through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests. On Thursday, the U.S. government agreed to release a report listing the total number of such requests once a year. Microsoft and Google are not satisfied with the change.
"The government’s decision represents a good start," writes Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith on the company's policy blog. "But the public deserves and the Constitution guarantees more than this first step."
Microsoft and Google had apparently agreed to six deadline extensions in the talks with government officials, but according to Smith, the negotiations have "ended in failure." Both companies feel they should have the right under the U.S. Constitution to specifically detail what information is being handed over upon the government's request--not just total numbers.
"To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart," writes Smith. "But today our two companies stand together."
Source : ign[dot]com