Requests up by more than 100 percent since 2010
Google has released its latest Transparency Report, detailing government requests for user data during the first half of the year. Such requests have more than doubled since Google released its first report in July 2009, totaling 25,879 for the six-month period, though the company notes that "these numbers only include the requests we're allowed to publish."
Search giant criticizes secretive policies
(Updated with details on Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft) Google has submitted an amended petition with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, again calling for greater transparency over data requests. The company argues that it has suffered a damaged reputation due to FISA secrecy rules, which prohibit the company from disclosing even broad statistics regarding the number of FISA requests that it has responded to.
Company highlights its FISA challenge
Yahoo has published its first global transparency report, outlining raw statistics surrounding government requests for user data in the first half of the year. In an accompanying blog post, Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell criticized the US government and highlighted the company's two-year legal challenge against the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
US asks for most user data, followed by India, UK, Italy, Germany
Government agencies representing 74 countries requested details from 38,000 Facebook accounts in the first half of the year, the social network has revealed. Its first Global Government Requests Report, similar to transparency reports published by Microsoft and Google, shows the governments of the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany as making the largest numbers of requests for user data from Facebook for the period.
United States, United Kingdom performs most requests
Microsoft has published its first Law Enforcement Requests Report, showing how many requests for customer data it received from various security agencies around the world. The effort by Microsoft for transparency, part of its Global Human Rights Statement, mirrors a similar effort by Google and its Transparency Report, with both attempting to demonstrate which governments want to affect the Internet and its users the most.
Microsoft issues software update for Surface RT
Microsoft has issued a software update for its Surface RT device, the first for the device since it launched last month. The update is said to improve app launch times and to patch a number of known security issues with Windows RT. It does not apparently, though, address an audio stuttering issue that has been pointed out on the device.