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Facebook, Google received redacted government reply to FISA court, respond with new filing

Sarah Silbert

You may recall that several internet companies have petitioned the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to disclose information about the government's requests for user data. In a September 30 filing, the Department of Justice denied those requests -- and only provided Google et al. with a heavily redacted version of its response.

In a new filing today, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo claim that the DoJ withheld the government's reasoning for refusing the requests for greater transparency. This, in turn, makes it nearly impossible for the companies to respond with a counterargument. Today's filing calls this withholding of information unconstitutional, and it calls for the court to strike the redacted sections. We doubt this is the last we'll hear on the subject; these tech firms have increasingly privacy-conscious users to answer to, and the FISA court's October decision to renew NSA call metadata-collecting doesn't exactly assuage fears, either.

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