Microsoft's general counsel, Brad Smith, said that while he appreciated the good faith and earnest efforts by the capable government lawyers with whom Microsoft and Google negotiated, he was disappointed that these negotiations failed. The director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, promised to disclose aggregate numbers of FISA orders issued to tech and telecom companies, but will not allow the companies to make such disclosures. We guess this is because if the companies release the figures then they will be accurate and not picked out of the bottoms of spooks trying to re-assure the public that they are not really living in a totalitarian state.
"FISA and national security letters are an important part of our effort to keep the nation and its citizens safe, and disclosing more detailed information about how they are used and to whom they are directed can obviously help our enemies avoid detection," Clapper said in a statement.
The tech sector does not want to stop the spying just tell the great unwashed when and how they have been spied upon. They are also keen to shake off the concerns about their involvement in vast secret US surveillance programs revealed by former spy contractor Edward Snowden.