WASHINGTON -- Freed by a recent legal deal with government lawyers, major Internet firms are releasing new data on how often they are ordered to turn over customer information for secret national security investigations.
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and LinkedIn on Monday all unveiled new figures for the first six months of 2013.
The releases offer details about government requests to show that only small numbers of their customers were targeted by authorities during counterterrorism and other intelligence-related investigations. Still, the small numbers indicated that the government collected data from thousands of Americans.
As the tech companies provided what they described as greater transparency, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith scolded the U.S. and allied governments for failing to renounce the reported mass interception of Internet data carried by communications cables.