Google, Facebook and Microsoft were among the technology companies to release new figures Monday showing a rising number of requests for their users’ data coming from a secretive U.S. surveillance court.
Figures vary by company, though the numbers show that the content of multiple thousands of users’ accounts has been sought in recent years by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants for national security investigations. The court has been at the forefront of surveillance disclosures made by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden since last June.
Google received FISA requests related to the content of between 9,000 and 9,999 accounts during the first half of 2013, up from between 7,000 and 7,999 in the first half of 2011.
The court sought content related to 15,000 to 15,999 accounts from Microsoft, up from 11,000 to 11,999 in the second half of 2011.
At Facebook, during the second half of 2012, the court sought data related to the content of 4,000 to 4,999 Facebook user accounts, the company said in a report. The company received more of FISA requests during the first half of 2013—the number rose to between 5,000 and 5,999 users’ accounts.