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Gov’t Requested Data Revealed; Confusion Prevails

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

June 18, 2013

The New York Times reports on the disclosure this week by several U.S.-based tech firms on law enforcement data requests. Several companies had asked the government to allow for more transparency with their customers. In turn, the government allowed the companies to reveal the total number of requests—but that includes state and local requests. How many of the requests are terrorist-related is unknown. The Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Amie Stepanovich said, “We still don’t know what is allowed and how these programs are being implemented.” With mounting public pressure on the companies to announce something, Prof. Adonis Hoffman noted, “They’ve got to say to the consuming public that we care about your data; we’re going to do everything we can to preserve your data, and absent a national security contingency, no one gets access to your data.” Editor’s Note: The IAPP will be hosting, as a complimentary teleconference, The Implications of the NSA Leaks for Privacy Professionals on Thursday, June 20. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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