Google, Microsoft, Facebook tell NSA: 'let us prove we're innocent'

Google, Microsoft, Facebook tell NSA: 'let us prove we're innocent
Larry vs the law

Microsoft, Facebook and Google have come together to ask for the ability to publish details of data handover requests, as they continue to deny involvement in the PRISM surveillance program.

The tech giants have all asked the National Security Agency to allow them to publish Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests so they can prove that they're not guilty of handing over users' private information.

Currently, these companies are blocked by non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from revealing information about NSA-requested data – which they claim has not been disclosed.

In its request, Google asked the Attorney General and Federal Bureau of Investigation to wave this restriction so it can prove that it's not guilty.

"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," it said.

Transparent testimony

Facebook made a similar move, posting a public message that declared it "would welcome the opportunity to provide a transparency report that allows us to share with those who use Facebook around the world a complete picture of the government requests we receive, and how we respond."

Microsoft confirmed that it had also put forward a transparency request, telling Reuters: "Our recent report went as far as we legally could and the government should take action to allow companies to provide additional transparency."

Twitter lawyer Alex Macgillivray meanwhile tweeted "We'd like more NSL transparency and Twitter supports efforts to make that happen".

Each of these companies have been accused of being implicated in the massive PRISM scandal, involving a program used by the US government to request information on users from the world's biggest tech companies, including emails and photos.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.