LinkedIn wants stronger transparency in USA Freedom Act

LinkedIn is pushing for stronger transparency provisions in the USA Freedom Act, a bill from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) that would overhaul the National Security Agency's surveillance program.

The company sent a letter to Leahy and Sensenbrenner on Monday, arguing that the bill should allow Internet companies to publish more exact statistics related to national security requests for user information.

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The USA Freedom Act would allow companies to disclose numbers rounded to the nearest 100. Court orders currently bar Internet companies from disclosing almost any information about the requests.

"We don't believe that merely reporting aggregate numbers of national security-related requests adversely impacts the work our security agencies perform to protect national security," LinkedIn wrote in the letter.

The company joined Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and AOL last week in expressing support for the legislation.

Many of those companies, including LinkedIn, are suing the NSA for the right to publish more information about national security requests for their data. 

The USA Freedom Act is one of the more aggressive bills introduced in the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden. In addition to the transparency provisions, it would end the agency's bulk collection of all U.S. phone records, create a special advocate to argue for privacy rights before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and would strengthen rules against targeting Americans.