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U.S. Intelligence Agencies Will Begin Publishing The Number Of Surveillance Orders They Request Each Year

For the first time, the U.S. intelligence community will begin publishing information on how many surveillance order requests are made per year, as well as how many people are affected by them.

In a victory for transparency advocates in the wake of the PRISM secret surveillance scandal, U.S. intelligence agencies will begin revealing the number of surveillance orders they request per year under various FISA ordinances, as well as national security letters. The agencies will also reveal the number of people that have been affected by each order.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced that the U.S. intelligence community's Tumblr page, IC On The Record, created last week at the direction of President Obama, will "provide immediate, ongoing and direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the U.S. Intelligence Community."

The intelligence community's new policy follows examples recently set by companies like Google and Facebook, who have requested greater transparency from the National Security Agency, but who have also been releasing information about their own security-related government solicitations, where possible. For example, this week Facebook published its first Global Government Requests Report, which outlines the number of data requests the social network received from government agencies in the first half of 2013.

Though it's unclear when the first report will come out, Clapper says the intelligence community will publish the newly public information on surveillance orders to its Tumblr page.

[Image: Flickr user satanoid]