Tech-backed coalition makes transparency push global

September 19, 2013
People use their smartphones and tablets in a shopping mall in Bangkok on March 19, 2013.

An Internet freedom coalition backed by US technology giants asked Thursday for 21 countries to release information on national security and law enforcement data requests.

The Global Network Initiative, which includes Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, asked the countries to "report on the requests they make for electronic communications surveillance and to make it legally possible for companies to report regularly to the public on the government requests that they receive from law enforcement as well as national ."

Letters were sent to senior government officials responsible for foreign affairs, justice, and security, with copies to data protection authorities, the group said.

Copies were sent to representatives at the United Nations offices in Geneva, in advance of discussions on human rights and communications surveillance at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council, the organization said.

The move comes with US tech firms in a battle with the US government to release more information on the role of companies in revealed in recent months by intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

The tech firms say they are not allowed to reveal number of national security requests, and that more transparency would boost the confidence of their users.

The Global Network Initiative, which seeks to promote freedom of expression and privacy in the digital age, sent the requests to the 21 countries in the Freedom Online Coalition, which have committed to collaborating to advance Internet freedom.

The countries are Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Latvia, the Republic of Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Tunisia, Britain and the United States.

Explore further: Yahoo reports 29,000 data requests

Related Stories

Yahoo reports 29,000 data requests

September 7, 2013

Yahoo received some 29,000 government requests for data on its users this year, with almost half coming from the United States, according to the company's global transparency report released Friday.

Coalition seeks release of surveillance data

July 18, 2013

A coalition of Internet firms and activist organizations asked the US government Thursday to issue "transparency reports" on its online and phone data collection programs which have sparked an outcry.

Microsoft joins Google in US spying suit

August 31, 2013

Microsoft says that a battle to shed light on secret US government requests for Internet user data will play out in court after failed peace talks.

Google asks US secret court to lift gag order (Update)

June 18, 2013

Google on Tuesday sharply challenged the U.S. government's gag order on its Internet surveillance program, citing what it described as a constitutional free speech right to divulge how many requests it receives from the government ...

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.