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Published: Saturday 28 September, 2013

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government of infringing people rights and privacy. 31, 2008, file photo President Bush waves after signing a 15day extension of the Protect America Act after a speech in Las Vegas. Sternly prodding Congress, Bush told lawmakers they were jeopardizing the nation safety by failing to lock in the government eavesdropping law. When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen. They didn know that its passage gave birth to a topsecret NSA program, officially labeled US98XN. Hong, AP

In this Feb. 14, 2008, file photo President Bush speaks about the America Act outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen. They didn know that its passage gave birth to a topsecret NSA outlet online michael kors program, officially labeled US98XN. representatives said that after negotiations with national security officials their companies have been given permission to make new but still very limited revelations about government orders to turn over user data.

The announcements Friday night come at the end of a week when , Micro outlet online michael kors soft and Google, normally rivals, had jointly pressured the Obama administration to loosen their legal gag on national security orders.

Those actions came after Edward Snowden, a 29yearold American who works as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, revealed to The Guardian newspaper the existence of secret surveillance programs that gathered Americans phone records and other data. The companies did not link their actions to Snowdens leaks.

Ted Ullyot, s general counsel, said in a statement that is only allowed to talk about total numbers and must give no specifics. But he said the permission it has received is still unprecedented, and the company was lobbying to reveal more.

Using the new guidelines, Ullyot said received between 9,000 and 10,000 government requests from all outlet online michael kors government entities from local to federal in the last six months of 2012, on topics including missing children investigations, fugitive tracking and terrorist threats. The requests involved the accounts of between 18,000 and 19,000 users.

The companies were not allowed to make public how many orders they received from a particular agency or on a particular subject. But the numbers do include all national security related requests including those submitted via national security letters and under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which companies had not previously been allowed to reveal.

The companies remain barred from revealing whether theyve actually received FISA requests, and can only say that any theyve received are included in the total reported figures.

Microsoft released similar numbers for the same period, but downplayed how much they revealed.

We continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues, John Frank, Microsofts vicepresident and deputy general counsel said in a statement.

Frank said Microsoft received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 accounts.

Both attorneys emphasized in their statements that those affected by the orders represent a tiny fraction of their huge user bases.

Google did not release its own numbers, saying late Friday that it was waiting to be able to reveal more specific and meaningful information.

We have always believed that its important to differentiate between different types of government requests, Google said in a statement. We already publish criminal requests separately from national security letters. Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users. Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.

repeated recent assurances that the company scrutinizes every government request, and works aggressively to protect users data. said it has a compliance rate of 79 per cent on government requests. outlet online michael kors