Tim Evanson For months now, a group of tech giants including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and LinkedIn has asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for the right to be more specific on the types of legal requests they receive from the government. Since the wake of the Snowden leaks earlier this year, these companies have pushed for oral argument before the court and have asked that this argument be open to the public. Currently, Google and many other companies break out American law enforcement requests in their transparency reports. However, those figures represent all law enforcement nationwide and do not sub-divide by agency. Specifically, the companies want to be able to break out “[Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] orders based on probable cause,” “Section 702 of FISA,” “FISA Business Records,” “FISA Pen Register/Trap and Trace,” and National Security Letters. But now, the American government has responded to these companies, asking for an ex parte, in camera review. That means only the judge would be able to hear the government’s case. Google and the other movants would not be able to argue a response before the judge.

The movants say that they have only been given heavily redacted versions of the government’s submissions.     

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