"To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart." Quite an understatement, but so begins a recent blog post by Microsoft's General Counsel and Legal/Corporate Affairs EVP Brad Smith. Why are the two tech arch-enemies joining forces? "The Government's continued unwillingness to permit us to publish sufficient data relating to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders."
Each of our companies filed suit in June to address this issue. We believe we have a clear right under the U.S. Constitution to share more information with the public. The purpose of our litigation is to uphold this right so that we can disclose additional data.
On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government's deadline to reply to these lawsuits. We hoped that these discussions would lead to an agreement acceptable to all. While we appreciate the good faith and earnest efforts by the capable Government lawyers with whom we negotiated, we are disappointed that these negotiations ended in failure.
Read: Standing Together for Greater Transparency – Microsoft on the Issues. [technet.com]