Risk
6/12/2013
03:03 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

NSA Prism: Google, Facebook Want More Transparency

Fearing loss of customer trust, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter ask for permission to share more information about government data demands.

Google chief legal officer David Drummond explained in an open letter that the recent revelations about the U.S. government's information collection activities have been accompanied by claims that U.S. authorities have free access to Google's vast store of data.

"Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users' data are simply untrue," Drummond's letter says. "However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation."

Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter also asked for the right to reveal government demands for information on national security grounds.

Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot in a statement said, "We urge the United States government to help make that possible by allowing companies to include information about the size and scope of national security requests we receive, and look forward to publishing a report that includes that information."

Jack Lerner, associate professor of law at the USC Gould School of Law, specializing in Internet privacy and technology, said in a phone interview that although it was plausible that the NSA's surveillance activities would make it harder for U.S. cloud computing companies to attract foreign customers, it wasn't probable. "These services have such a large degree of penetration that I don't see a mass migration away," he said. "But on the margin, it could be an issue."

At the same time, Lerner characterized efforts by Internet companies to report government information demands more fully as a double-edged sword. "If a company says it's getting lots of FISA requests, foreign customers could find that disturbing," he said.

Lerner argues that greater awareness of the extent to which the U.S. government accesses information from Internet companies has the potential to prompt a reevaluation of free business models. "This may change the equation, the perception by consumers that free services are really free," he said.

And in the business world, the need for due diligence has never been greater.

"When you have a cloud service that says we're going to use third-party storage or third-party transmission for hosting, or unencrypted transmissions, anyone who deals with privileged material, trade secrets or foreign clients will have to think hard about who is going to be collecting and storing all that data and what they will do with it," he said.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
xBaja
50%
50%
xBaja,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2013 | 11:34:04 PM
re: NSA Prism: Google, Facebook Want More Transparency
Google and Facebook are truly amazed the NSA has less information on you than they do.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-5242
Published: 2014-10-21
Directory traversal vulnerability in functions/suggest.php in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allows remote attackers to include and execute arbitrary local files via a .. (dot dot) in the name parameter in a get_template action.

CVE-2012-5243
Published: 2014-10-21
functions/suggest.php in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allows remote attackers to read arbitrary database information via a crafted request.

CVE-2012-5702
Published: 2014-10-21
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in dotProject before 2.1.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) callback parameter in a color_selector action, (2) field parameter in a date_format action, or (3) company_name parameter in an addedit action to i...

CVE-2013-7406
Published: 2014-10-21
SQL injection vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2531
Published: 2014-10-21
SQL injection vulnerability in xhr.php in InterWorx Web Control Panel (aka InterWorx Hosting Control Panel and InterWorx-CP) before 5.0.14 build 577 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the i parameter in a search action to the (1) NodeWorx , (2) SiteWorx, or (3) R...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.