Tech Firm Voices for Transparency or Simple Blame-deflecting?

ZDNet Embed of Transparency Petition
Some of the best-known names in technology, as well as some less well known to the public, have signed a petition seeking greater transparency in their responses to government surveillance requests. Specifically, these firms want to "disclose exactly how many government requests for customer and subscriber data" are received by "Internet providers, telcos and Web-based companies."  Such requests are made under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and also under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

ZDNet's Zach Whittaker attributes the initial request to Google in 2010, but now the petition includes nonprofits, trade associations and investment firms. 

The question is whether such transparency will lead to significant changes in how information is handled by the technology firms themselves, or whether the goal is to apply more pressure on the White House and Congress to change the programs and/or the regulations. 

The ZDNet article includes the full text of the petition and a list of the signatories. 

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