Some Americans and tech experts, despite what Internet and communications companies insist, believe those businesses cooperate with government reconnaissance such as the program PRISM more than they acknowledge. We also understand some companies issue statements that are cautiously formulated.
Too frequently, businesses delay commenting or send out vague comments that raise more questions and doubts. But we applaud the Internet companies that issued statements quickly and firmly.
- Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to company servers.
- The company has never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk.
- If it did, the company would fight it aggressively.
- The company hadn’t heard of PRISM before.
- Facebook reviews each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law.
- The company will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.
On Google’s official blog, in a post titled, “What the …?”, the company’s CEO and chief legal officer explained:
- Google has not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to its servers.
- The U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in its data centers.
- Google provides user data to governments only in accordance with the law.
- Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to its users’ data are false.
- Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about its users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.
While we praise the approach, this is only the first step in media and public relations. Journalists can’t interview statements. Reporters want interviews to check for traces of loopholes in statements’ language. Quick and firm statements can later crumble if they twisted the truth. Companies can lose trust if they refuse to face tough questioning and ignore the skeptics on social media.
Media and public relations is often a long-term strategy. Starting off well does not promise a happy ending.