Well here’s a tasty morsel before the weekend. Apparently the juggernauts of the tech industry are taking the plethora of information demands the government keeps throwing at them. If the government demands your personal, private email or other data, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are reportedly taking steps to notify you faster and more frequently than they did in the past. That’s putting them at odds with prosecutors who believe such notifications can interfere with ongoing investigations and evidence gathering.
Via the Washington Post: “Fueling the shift is the industry’s eagerness to distance itself from the government after last year’s disclosures about National Security Agency surveillance of online services. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July.”
Before you start cheering, realize a few things. First off, if the law prohibits them from tattling, they won’t. Second, National Security Letters and FISC requests are automatically gagged, so that’s moot. Finally, this isn’t staving off the requests, just letting you know about it. Some comfort, huh?