Spy chief says U.S. will publish transparency report this fall

Gigaom

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence for the Obama administration, says his office will publish its first annual transparency report later this year in order to show how often America’s spy services are requesting data from tech and phone companies.

In a statement reported by the Washington Post, Clapper says the government will for the first time disclose how many requests it makes. It will also break the requests into categories like National Security Letters (used by the FBI and other agencies use to obtain information on American) and so-called FISA-letters, which are targeted at foreigners.

Clapper’s decision to reveal stats related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is particularly significant because, until now, all FISA requests — some of which ensnare Americans — are overseen by a controversial secret court. And while companies like Google(s goog) have been asking the secret court for permission to disclose how many…

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