U.S. government and top technology companies reach transparency agreement

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The U.S. government and a group of top technology companies have reached an agreement on transparency. The Department of Justice said it will grant the request of top tech companies who had previously petitioned the government for the ability to provide more detailed transparency reports on government-issued national security orders for user data. 

The Obama administration says it will allow Internet companies to give customers a better idea of how often the government demands their information, but will not allow companies to disclose what is being collected or how much. The new rules — which have prompted Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook to drop their respective lawsuits before the nation’s secret surveillance court — also contain a provision that bars start-ups from revealing information about government requests for two years. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, said the new declassification rules were prompted by President Obama’s speech on intelligence reform earlier this month.

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