The NSA has been on the offensive lately, first claiming that Google, Facebook and others are fully aware of its data-collecting practices, and now hinting that it'll nip criticism in the bud by releasing its own transparency reports. NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett, defending the agency's surveillance activities in a video interview today, said the following:
The vulnerabilities we find, the overwhelming majority we disclose to the people who are responsible for manufacturing or developing those products. We're actually working on a proposal right now to be transparent and to publish transparency reports in the same way the internet companies do.
This isn't exactly out of the blue. Apple, Facebook, Google and several other web giants have long expressed frustration at the NSA's lack of openness in the wake of Edward Snowden's PRISM leaks. Most recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke with President Obama about the need for "trust in the internet," and a handful of high-profile companies successfully sued for the right to share more specifics about national security requests. Releasing its own transparency reports could help change public perception of an agency that's secretive by design, but it's likely the NSA's reports wouldn't be too revealing if they do indeed get published. Stay tuned.