Government set to declassify information requests, paves the way for more transparency

Insight into the NSA's surveillance activities is about to get a bit less murky for US citizens. Following President Obama's speech on NSA reform this past month, comes news that the government will now allow for "more detailed disclosures" regarding its data-gathering requests. The statement, jointly issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence today, means a good portion of this data will now be declassified, giving communication providers (e.g., Verizon, Time Warner Cable, etc.) the ability to publish transparency reports. The obvious benefit to this being that these companies, which trade on customer loyalty, can ease their subscribers' privacy concerns and highlight exactly what number of requests were made by the US government and the resulting number of customer accounts affected by those requests. It appears this change of policy stems from the fact that "public interest ... now outweighs the national security concerns" and the government's belief that release of this data will "resolve an important area of concern" for communication providers.