Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and a plethora of other technology companies and civil rights groups have all signed a letter addressed to President Obama, demanding increased transparency of the US government’s surveillance programmes.
The letter, which can be read in full below, has asked that Internet, telephone, and web-based service providers report with more regularity: the number of government requests for information about users; the number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested, and the number of requests that asked for communications content and information, including subscriber details.
“This information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people, who are entitled to have an informed public debate about the appropriateness of those authorities and their use,” says the letter.
The document comes following the Guardian and Washington Post's exposé of the NSA's PRISM surveillance programme earlier this year. Major tech copmanies became embroiled in the scandal, with the likes of Microsoft being forced to defend the information it was asked to hand over and Yahoo took the issue to court in order to prove it had "objected strenuously" to providing customer data to the government.