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Wednesday, 19 June 2013 09:12

Google wants freedom from gagging order

Written by Nick Farrell

Takes on the spooks

Google is asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes.

The search engine claims that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government. The legal filing, which invokes the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to salvage its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about broad National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others want US officials to ease secrecy rules on data collection. But a high-profile battle might help Google’s win a PR victory portraying itself as aggressively resisting government surveillance. If it does that, it does not matter if it wins or not.

Nick Farrell

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