Last week we reported that Twitter was setting themselves up to bring a case against the US government for restricting their ability to reveal the exact statistics on data requests that have been sent in the first half of 2013.
Until that case gets to the Supreme Court, we’ll have to make do with vague statements draped in rounded numbers, but honestly, at least it’s better than nothing. Overall Yahoo led the pack with somewhere between 30,000-30,999 requests, possibly doubling the amount of the next company down, Microsoft, who received a vague number somewhere in the range of 15,000-15,999.
Google and LinkedIn have both been filing their fair share of petitions with the secret intelligence court responsible for withholding this data, and while the former pulls up with a third place finish at 9,000-9,999 requests, LinkedIn barely even registers on the roster, clocking a mere 0-249 account requests between January and June of last year.
These amounts are far from an exact representation of the actual number of people currently being surveilled under the PRISM program, nor how how many FISA requests are being designated for each. Your average terrorist likely holds multiple accounts across multiple services, and within that crossover is an even more complicated algorithm required to make sense of everything in a cohesive picture.
Google has spoken out against the portrait that was painted by news organization the Guardian back in early June, on the eve of the first leaks we ever received from Edward Snowden and his team.
“On June 6, The Guardian published a story mischaracterizing the scope and nature of Google’s receipt of and compliance with foreign intelligence surveillance requests,” wrote Google in its initial petition on the matter. “In particular, the story falsely alleged that Google provides the US government with ‘direct access’ to its servers.”