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Microsoft urges government transparency on security requests

People use computers at a Microsoft retail store in San Diego January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
People use computers at a Microsoft retail store in San Diego January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp on Tuesday urged the U.S. government for greater transparency on requests for data from security agencies.

It follows a demand from Google Inc earlier on Tuesday for permission to publish the total number of government requests for national security information.

"Permitting greater transparency on the aggregate volume and scope of national security requests, including FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) orders, would help the community understand and debate these important issues," Microsoft said in an emailed statement.

"Our recent report went as far as we legally could and the government should take action to allow companies to provide additional transparency".

Both Microsoft and Google, along with other Internet companies, have come under scrutiny following disclosures in The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers of their roles in a National Security Agency data collection program named Prism.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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