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Google files court case against NSA surveillance secrecy, cites First Amendment

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 10:16 a.m. MDT

This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, photo shows a Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google has filed a court case asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to revoke long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP) This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, photo shows a Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google has filed a court case asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to revoke long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

Google filed a court petition Tuesday demanding it be allowed to share information about government surveillance programs with the public.

The California-based Internet giant argued that the company has a constitutional right to share information it is forced to give the government about its users. The legal filing invokes the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

This latest move is to protect Google's reputation in the aftermath of news reports about the National Security Agency's surveillance of Internet traffic released earlier this month.

"In its petition, Google sought permission to publish information about how many government data requests the surveillance court approves and how many user accounts are affected," The Washington Post reported.

"A high-profile legal showdown might help Google's efforts to portray itself as aggressively resisting government surveillance, and a victory could bolster the company's campaign to portray government surveillance requests as targeted narrowly and affecting only a small number of users," the paper added.

Editor's Note: The original version of this story posted on June 19, 2013, failed to properly attribute all source materials, which violates our editorial policies. The story was revised on Oct. 10, 2013, to link to original source material.

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