Facebook: We can now say more on user surveillance

Associated Press + More

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook's top attorney says after a week of negotiations with national security officials, the company is allowed to make new revelations about government orders for user data.

General Counsel Ted Ullyot said in a statement Friday that Facebook is only allowed to talk about total numbers, but is lobbying to reveal more, and the permission received is still unprecedented.

Following the guidelines, Ullyot says Facebook received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from government entities in the last six months of 2012, on subjects from missing children to terrorist threats.

In a rare alliance, Facebook, Google and Microsoft Corp. are pressuring the Obama administration to loosen their legal gag on government surveillance orders.

The companies are seeking to distance themselves from the Internet dragnet code-named "PRISM" revealed in leaks last week.

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