Google says the FBI is monitoring the Web for potential terrorist activity. But it can’t say how extensive the surveillance is.
As part of the Google Transparency Report, the Internet giant this week released data on so-called National Security Letters — official requests for data under the Patriot Act passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
But Google said it was only allowed to provide broad ranges of numbers: in the years from 2009 to 2012, for example, it received between zero and 999 requests.
The requests affected between 1,000 and 1,999 accounts, except in 2010 when the range was 2,000 to 2,999 accounts, Google said.
“You’ll notice that we’re reporting numerical ranges rather than exact numbers. This is to address concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations,” said a blog post from Google law enforcement director Richard Salgado.
Salgado added, “We’re thankful to U.S. government officials for working with us to provide greater insight into the use of NSLs.”
The numbers, while inexact, were believed to be the first data from a private company about the National Security Letters which have been criticized by civil liberties groups for giving the government too much power to conduct surveillance without a warrant.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the letters “dangerous” and has challenged the authority along with the American Civil Liberties Union.
One inspector general review found “serious deficiencies” in the FBI’s handling of the process and noted that the letters concerned tens of thousands of US citizens and non-Americans.
EFF said public records have documented “the FBI’s systemic abuse of this power.”
Republicans in Congress are angry about Trump’s latest racist comments — but not because they’re racist
There can be no denying that amid the firestorm from President Donald Trump tweeting that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) should "go back where they came from," Republicans in Congress are upset.
However, as many of them make clear in conversation with reporters, the fact that these comments were racist is not the main reason they are angry at the president. Rather, they are frustrated that his comments are hogging the news cycle, which leaves them incapable of discussing their agenda — and of criticizing the agenda of the Democratic representatives he targeted.
Lara Trump says the president is the real victim: He ‘gave up his entire life’ to be president
Campaign advisor Lara Trump defended her father-in-law saying that he's the real victim in this exchange between four Congresswomen of color. Then she repeated that these women can "leave" the country.
Trump began the fight Sunday when he told four Congresswomen that if they didn't like what was happening in the United States Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." The women are all citizens and all but one was born in the United States.
"The reality is everything he says, of course, was taken and misconstrued," she said, alleging Trump's statements were taken out of context. You can read them below:
George Conway declares ‘Trump is a racist president’ in brutal Washington Post column
Prominent Republican attorney George Conway blasted President Donald Trump in an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Monday evening.
Conway explained how he avoided thinking of Trump as a racist, despite the president's actions.
"No, I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive. He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him. No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I gave still him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot," he explained.