Hey, didn’t CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently say he never knew about any of this?
Facebook and Microsoft were able to reveal limited information on Friday night about the government orders they have received to turn over user data to security agencies.
Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said in a statement that they had between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from all government entities, from local to federal, in the last six months of 2012.
The orders involved the accounts of between 18,000 and 19,000 Facebook users on a broad range of surveillance topics, from missing children to terrorism.
Microsoft said they had between 6,000 and 7,000 orders, affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 accounts, but downplayed how much they had revealed.
The announcements come at the end of a week when Facebook, Microsoft and Google, normally rivals, had jointly pressured the Obama administration to loosen their legal gag on national security orders.
The companies are still not allowed to make public how many orders they received from a particular agency or on a particular subject.
But the numbers do include all national security related requests including those submitted via national security letters and under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which companies had not previously been allowed to reveal.
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