Facebook and Yahoo have joined Microsoft and Google in asking the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to tell the public about personal information they give to spy agencies.
The big four companies are responding to persistent reports that spy agencies are using them to grab users’ personal information.
In the FISA court filings, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Google say their reputations have been damaged. They say only a small part of Internet traffic is being handed to spy agencies, and they want to give the public information to correct the record.
The Justice Department says it can’t allow that for national security reasons.
The companies say that gag order violates their free-speech rights. Microsoft and Google are asking the FISA court to allow oral arguments so that they can argue their case in public.