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Feds say no to added transparency on spy requests

Several tech companies want to clear up misconceptions on the sharing of user data with the government, but the US Justice Department is against revealing more information on its requests.

Declan McCullagh/CNET

The US government has no plans to provide more information on the requests it sends to tech companies for user data, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The US Justice Department told a secret surveillance court that it opposes a request from tech companies asking the court for the right to publish more detailed data on government spying demands, including statistics on the extent of the demands, according to initially sealed court documents. The request was filed with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has not publicly ruled on the request.

The companies that made the request includes Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook. This stems from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's leak of documents outlining the US government's surveillance efforts.

The Justice Department wrote in its response that publishing the information would reveal too much to adversaries and hurt the government's surveillance efforts.