Facebook became the first tech company implicated in the PRISM scandal to release a complete view of data requests received from U.S. authorities — secret PRISM requests and all — but Google and Twitter were quick to voice their displeasure with Facebook's apparent privacy triumph. Friday evening, Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot announced the company received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for data from between 18,000 and 19,000 accounts from U.S. authorities within the last six months of 2012. Facebook became the first tech giant to release government data request information that includes requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Services Act.
In 2008, Congress approved amendments to FISA allowing, among other things, the government to conduct warrantless wiretaps of electronic communications, contingent upon judicial approval. Several subsequent votes have extended those powers, and President Obama and his administration defended the oversight by secret courts, even as some members of the Senate and most of the major tech companies have lobbied for disclosure there, too. Google, Facebook and Microsoft, along with six other Silicon Valley giants, were implicated as participants in the PRISM surveillance program by government contractor Edward Snowden in his initial leaks to the Guardian.