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LinkedIn asks to disclose NSA data requests, says secrecy 'threatens the entire internet'

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Linkedin dropcloth
Linkedin dropcloth

So far, LinkedIn has mostly stayed out of the fight for more NSA disclosure, but yesterday they jumped into the fray, filing a brief to the FISA court demanding the right to report government data requests. It's similar to lawsuits undertaken by Microsoft and Google in the wake of PRISM revelations, but notable because, unlike those companies, LinkedIn has yet to be directly implicated in any leaked documents.

The core of the complaint is the gag orders that frequently accompany FISA requests and national security letters. Unlike a standard warrant, LinkedIn is prohibited from disclosing even aggregate data about the quantity of requests. LinkedIn already publishes a transparency report, but because of pre-existing gag orders, it's prohibited from saying how many national-security-related requests its received. In the brief, LinkedIn argues that this creates a potential breach of trust with users, and "this potential erosion of user trust threatens the entire Internet and technology sector." As with previous requests, the FISA court has yet to publicly respond.