When you push the tech giants, they push back, and that’s exactly what’s currently happening with Google
, and Apple
in the case of customer data requests by the government. While the companies are forced to comply with the requests, they’ve decided to notify users whose data has been subpoenaed.
According to the Washington Post
, the three aforementioned companies will make it routine to notify users of data requests unless there’s a specific gag order or other legal restriction. For example, items requested by the FISA
shadow court as well as National security letters (which are sent by the FBI in cases of national security) come with gag orders.
Edward Snowden (Credit: The Guardian)
Yahoo has attempted the same notification strategy, and Facebook is apparently working on drafting a similar policy. Twitter has been doing it for years.
Law enforcement officials are predictably not too happy about these developments and are worried that investigations will be slowed down and that suspects will get a heads-up when they’re being investigated.
Those seem like legitimate concerns, but these companies need to do something to push back against the U.S. government’s shady practices revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden
. Perhaps that’s the wrong thing to push back against, but if nothing else, the government should consider these new policies as a protest.