Testifying before the U.S. Senate on transparency legislation

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs

This morning, Richard Salgado, Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013.

We commend Senators Franken and Heller for introducing this bill, which would allow Internet service providers to disclose basic statistics about requests we receive from law enforcement for users’ information in the course of a national security investigation. The current lack of transparency about government surveillance programs undermines trust, economic growth and security, and the promise of the Internet as a platform for openness.

More transparency can help fix that. Since 2010, our Transparency Report has shed light on requests for user data that we receive from the government. We strive to surface new and useful data with every update. Richard’s testimony details our efforts to be allowed to disclose statistics about FISA requests that we may receive, including our motion before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Transparency is crucial, but it is only one step among many needed. As we wrote to Congress two weeks ago, it is clear that the U.S. government and other governments must examine broader reforms to government surveillance.

You can read Richard’s written testimony and watch the webcast of the hearing starting at 10:00 AM Eastern.