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Tech Giants, Telcos Get OK to Release Stats on NSA Spying

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In Obama’s speech 10 days ago outlining surveillance reforms, the president promised he would allow corporations like Google, Apple and Microsoft to be more transparent with their customers about NSA spying.

“We will also enable communications providers to make public more information than ever before about the orders that they have received to provide data to the government,” the president said.

Today, we learned what that means. The Justice Department announced(.pdf)that for the first time corporate America may publicly report a broad range of vague and inexact figures about the number of secret orders they receive from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The companies may begin reporting the number of FISA orders in bands of 1,000. Each company can also report the number of accounts affected collectively by the FISA orders, but, also, only in ranges of 1,000.

Companies were previously blocked from disclosing any of that information.

The change “strikes an...(continued)

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