Government ordered spying by tech companies on the very user base that keeps said companies employed has been a hot topic issue since this past June when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden brought the expanse of U.S. spying capabilities to light. A breakthrough in the issue occurred on Monday when an agreement with the Obama administration may now allow U.S. tech companies to reveal to their users more information about the data they were ordered to collect.
The agreement was brought forth following litigation by five major tech companies: Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Google, LinkedIn Corp, and Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc. All five went to court in order to clear up their relationship with U.S. spying agencies and law enforcement as before the agreement they were prohibited from revealing to their consumers the number of orders they received by court order to report user information to the government. President Barack Obama’s administration was leery of allowing the disclosure of this information in fear that it might assist suspected foreign extremists in avoiding being watched.
At the end of the dispute, the five companies made a joint statement saying: “We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive. We’re pleased the Department of Justice has agreed that we and other providers can disclose this information.”
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