And so the Valley resistance is starting:
Google has followed Apple's lead and published data on the secret orders it receives to hand over customer's information under the provisions of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).This is a very wide range, as it appears that the law prohibits the release of precise numbers. But we didn't use to see any numbers, or even acknowledgement that there was even cooperation. That's changed for good.
According to the data, Google got between zero and 999 FISA requests every six months since 2009 for both content and non-content data.
And it's not just Apple and Google, either.
Facebook and Yahoo! have now also joined the disclosure party by releasing some data on the orders requests they received from investigators under FISA, although only for the past year.This follows on the heels of Yahoo! turning on encryption as the default for their email service. Little by little, the NSA is finding that cooperation that used to be theirs for the asking is now only available at a cost, or with a warrant.
Facebook said that it received between zero and 999 national security letter requests last year and the same number for non-content access to user accounts. When it comes to grabbing content, however, government agents got data on between 4,000 and 4,999 people in the second half of 2012 and between 5,000 and 5,999 people in the first half of last year.
"We believe that while governments have an important responsibility to keep people safe, it is possible to do so while also being transparent," said Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch.
To repeat: none of this would have happened without Edward Snowden showing the complete untrustworthiness of the Intelligence Community. Like it or not, the shadows in which the Three Letter Agencies thrive are beginning - slowly, but seemingly surely - to recede before the light of day.