Today, Google published a secret series of 8 National Security letters, asked by FBI for specific accounts.The Security Letters here follows an identical format, including the information from 2010 to 2015.
The information published aims at identifying the number of accounts with no evidence or the suspicious ones, in order to justify the request.
These letters are said to be the secret administrative subpoenas that are used by FBI to force the third parties like telecom, banks and tech companies to release their customer’s information when required.
Google was not allowed to disclose such requests legally. But right after the prohibition being lifted, now the letter raising the so-called “gag-order” is published in the post published by Google.
In most of the cases, these requests are limited to the address, name and the length of the services enabled in the accounts. Although two of the security letters may also ask for the “ Electronic Communication Transactional Records”, in terms of the account.
In our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, today we begin to make available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) we have received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations
Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security policy mentioned in a blog, he posted on Tuesday.
Whereas these letters are simply a handful out of a number of thousand subpoenas received by the major tech companies every year. FBI will also ask these companies to hand out all the necessary account information about their customers as a part of a legal investigation, whenever required.
Google’s Salgado cited,
In the near future, we will establish a more permanent home for these and additional materials from our Transparency Report
FBI now requires to review the gag orders on the letter that is based either on 3 years after the date they were published or at the conclusion of the legal investigation.