A Call To Action: Urging Greater Transparency By The U.S. Government

By Ron Bell, General Counsel, Yahoo!

Democracy demands accountability, and accountability requires transparency. So today, we are proud to join dozens of our partners across the tech industry, civil society organizations, and trade associations to urge greater transparency by the U.S. government regarding national security demands for our users’ information.

Lend your voice to our call to action by signing our group petition on the White House’s We The People platform.

Collectively, we ask the U.S. government to allow us to regularly report:

  • The number of government demands for user information made under specific national security legal authorities (including the various provisions of FISA and National Security Letters);
  • The number of individuals, accounts or devices for which information is sought; and,
  • The number of demands that seek communications content, subscriber information, and any other information.

We also ask the U.S. government to issue its own transparency report to reveal the total number of demands for user data that it makes industry-wide, as well as the number of individuals affected by each request.

The United States has a long and proud tradition of innovating in the technology space. This country should also lead when it comes to transparency, accountability, and respect of civil liberties and human rights. Granting our industry’s petition for greater transparency around national security requests for users’ data would help accomplish that.

Read the full letter we’ve signed onto here.