Apple, Google and others ask US government for more transparency with data requests

Just a few days after Google and Twitter pushed for the government to reveal the number of security-related requests, the Obama administration and Congress have just received another salvo backed by even more tech heavyweights -- 63, to be exact. A letter signed by many of the giants covered by PRISM -- including Apple, Facebook and Google, among other major companies -- requests greater transparency in data requests, and demands permission to publish regular reports indicating what information is collected. In addition to pushing for greater transparency among companies, the memo urges Congress to enact similar requirements for the US government. The letter adds:

This information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people, who are entitled to have an informed public debate about the appropriateness of those authorities and their use, and to international users of US-based service providers who are concerned about the privacy and security of their communications.

Those words were backed by several non-profit groups such as the Wikimedia Foundation in addition to a long roster of companies and investors, making this letter one of the loudest responses to the NSA's data-collecting program to date. Click through to read the full text.