Risk
6/12/2013
03:03 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
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
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8148
Published: 2015-01-26
The default D-Bus access control rule in Midgard2 10.05.7.1 allows local users to send arbitrary method calls or signals to any process on the system bus and possibly execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

CVE-2014-8157
Published: 2015-01-26
Off-by-one error in the jpc_dec_process_sot function in JasPer 1.900.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted JPEG 2000 image, which triggers a heap-based buffer overflow.

CVE-2014-8158
Published: 2015-01-26
Multiple stack-based buffer overflows in jpc_qmfb.c in JasPer 1.900.1 and earlier allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted JPEG 2000 image.

CVE-2014-9571
Published: 2015-01-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in admin/install.php in MantisBT before 1.2.19 and 1.3.x before 1.3.0-beta.2 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) admin_username or (2) admin_password parameter.

CVE-2014-9572
Published: 2015-01-26
MantisBT before 1.2.19 and 1.3.x before 1.3.0-beta.2 does not properly restrict access to /*/install.php, which allows remote attackers to obtain database credentials via the install parameter with the value 4.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.