Google’s top lawyer is asking Washington law makers to let the company expand its transparency report to include secret court orders like the kind involved in the NSA surveillance scandal. In a letter posted to Google’s blog, David Drummond addresses Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, arguing that when the government allowed Google to disclose the number of National Security Letters the company gets (another form of data request), nothing bad happened. So why not extend the disclosure permissions to requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), as well? Google says this will improve transparency and not harm national security at all.
We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide.