Internet companies in deal with US government

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Internet companies in deal with US government

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What information which you post online is safe from prying eyes? Facebook and Microsoft have announced they have struck agreements with the US government to release limited details about the number of surveillance requests they receive.

The move comes on the back of Facebook revealing it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from the US government for user data in the second half of 2012.

The agreement is seen as a modest victory for the internet giants after the fallout from recent revelations about a secret government data-collection programme.

In Hong Kong activists and lawmakers showed their support for Edward Snowden the former National Security Agency contractor who blew the whistle on the fact the US had hacked into Hong Kong’s networks. The rally’s organiser said people like Snowden were necessary for democracy. The activists argued that his revelations showed Washington had violated basic human rights.

A test flight by a balloon in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island could lead to yet more information being exchanged in cyberspace. The Google experiment is aimed at taking high speed internet to remote parts of the world. The balloon’s equipment can provide internet coverage over an area of 1200 kilometres.