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U.S. government begs Google for user data

Google Inc. said the number of U.S. government requests for user data jumped 37 percent to almost 11,000 in the first half of 2013, even as it lobbies the government to let it reveal more details from legal orders.

The U.S. made the most inquiries of any country, with 42 percent of the total for the period, according to the company’s transparency report. Google got 25,879 requests globally, up 24 percent from the first six months of last year and almost double the number from three years ago. Inquiries from the U.S. government have more than tripled since 2009.

Google, along with technology peers such as Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., is pushing for permission to release more details about user-data requests that the U.S. government now protects under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Technology companies are also asking lawmakers to restrain the National Security Agency, saying they want to “counter erroneous reports” that they give intelligence agencies direct access to their servers.

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