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From +David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer: We cannot say this more clearly—the government does not have access to Google servers—not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box. Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media. It is quite wrong to insinuate otherwise. We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. And we have taken the lead in being as transparent as possible about government requests for user information.
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Some half hack effort at generating a media story, and we suddenly questioning a company with a reputation for challenging every legal request for information? I know who I believe.. 
"Only in accordance to the law" wouldn't this PRISM qualify as "the law"? Just wondering...

Edit: I do trust Google, but wasn't sure if PRISM would qualify or not.
I hope that's true, because Google has been accused of privacy issues a few times. Its been reported that Google sells information, data mining, and software that is aggressively intrusive. I kinda take it with grain of salt, thinking half truths and speculation. But it's hard to trust companies anymore. But I still love ya! 
Frank ie
Goolge can haz all my bases.
+Alexander Ruiz it would according to talking points, according to administrations interpretations.  They're circling the wagons.  This was carefully worded.
As if anyone is saying that PRISM isn't lawful. We aren't saying what you're doing is illegal. What it is is unethical and SHOULD be illegal.
Employees subject to FISA cannot tell you, so yeah, you don't know what's up.
Same as Bull is taking a Shit.
If you want us to beleive you +Google simply share all the details of the requests the government has made of you.  This will likely violate the conditions of FISA but you'll have to decide what is more important, pleasing the American government or pleasing your users.
Is it even happening? That's the question.. If it was, then yes.. Orwellian.. But I'm not even close to convinced it is.. 
+William Dixey That "privacy concerns" AFAIK have always been related to tracking cookies, integration between product and so forth. Never related to givin your data to governments
Read my lips "There is no such thing as privacy"! Your government has been spying on you from it's inception!
+Hayden Coonan Obama admitted it is but down played what they are snooping on... all the other companies are flat out playing dumb that they have never heard of it
Google has become the only company I totally trust for some reason. More than my local government (I'm not from the US) or local companies.
Spying isn't necessarily the issue, we expect some of that, but that's what warrants and paper trails and accountability comes in, how do we know this stuff isn't being abused.. we don't because no one is telling us its even taking place and how extensive it is
just say in simple word that you guys giving info about the users to the government but Manning just shared the truth but he is in jail but you are outside  
I don't understand where is the drop box.
dustin evans
I trust +Google with everything. Don't want your house on Google Maps? They will blur it out. Don't want tracked online? Chrome can stop that. Don't want ads targeting you? Don't want Latitude to follow you? All of that is a setting you can turn off. I get emails all the time reminding me of my privacy options. I love Google. There is no other company in the world that I trust more. If Google says they don't do something I believe them. Keep up the good work, Google. 
+David Drummond Can you say this on record, so that we can expect recourse when this whole thing get unclassified?
Google assumes too much, as does facebook. My mother requests a recipe for stew and where hearing aid's cost less and suddenly the internet thinks I have an interest. Stupid companies.
If my nephew want to build a 3D gun or visit porn sites from any one of my 3 computers in my lab I become a suspect? If I misspell a word when searching all of a sudden I am directed to porn instead of prom.
Stupid Software, companies and advertisers. 
+Alexandre Ferrando I understand that, My point was where it starts, how far a company is willing to take it, what has become acceptable behavior. How easily a company will give up information. Where is the line. 
Thanks for that link +Garmon Estes , the statistics are interesting, but don't really say much, or who is affected, etc. 
Does anyone have the picture of these guys all sitting around the table at the WOW House with Obama and Zuckerbag.. 
+Jason Gullickson They actually went beyond what they were supposed to in divulging the numerical range. I do not see any other company or government doing what Google is doing with regards to transparency. 
There are fine points to the concerns being raised here. Should an arm of law enforcement like the justice department serve up a subpoena, ordered by the court, for specific information on a specific individual or individuals, we would expect there to be compliance... similar concept to the police serving a search warrant on your home when someone accuses you of theft... as long as you don't place yourself in a position to be so accused, you have nothing to worry about.

What PRISM is about is the blanket scanning or capture of call and internet activity. Google denies granting the government direct access to it's servers and I believe them on this point... simply because the government is more likely in bed with the telecom companies who own the pipe through which all of that traffic passes... a relationship that was forged when Ma Bell partnered with the government to own telecom.

Working with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Comcast, Cox and others, the NSA can observe all traffic as it occurs without having to worry about what ultimately gets written to servers owned by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or others. It's the relationship with these telecoms that I would want to investigate.
While none of you may believe him (I'm not informed as much as many of you are, obviously) I would put some creedance on his words. If subject to FISA what is the compelling motive for Google and +David Drummond to issue this comment? I am intreged but somehow inclined to believe he believes what he has said publicly. It is not in lawyers blood to admit something that could incriminate them at a later date.
Is anyone going to watch the NASCAR race this weekend? If not you can keep up what's going on at NASCAR page. Just trying to break the ice around here. 
I don't disagree that Google is doing better than others +Garmon Estes (although i can't say I know for sure), but that doesn't mean they are doing enough, and we know they are not doing everything possible.

It's worth noting that Google has more of our information than any other single company other than possibly the U.S. federal government (that wasn't a mistake :).  If they expect their users to trust them with all this data, then they need to do more than "suck the least".  I do realize that it will be a long time before the average user will realize the risk involved with trusting a single company with this much information (without receiving complete transparency in return), but events like these recent ones are what help raise that awareness, and eventually those drops add up and tip the bucket.

Fortunately there is already technology on the horizon that can address these concerns and decentralize data allowing it to be immune to the laws that currently force companies to give away their customers data.  THese tools exist today, but they are not as "accessible" as services like Google, Facebook, etc.  That's just a matter of time though, so if companies like Google are unable to establish a higher level of trust before these tools become ready for more general audiences, they are likely going to become a technological artifact like AOL, Compuserve or Myspace...
Be careful Google, if you are telling this to all your users, and if tomorrow something leaks, and it all ends up being a lie, all the users that are trusting you today will stop using your company product tomorrow. It's always better to be honest, even if the government is making you deny everything under threats.
+Hayden Coonan you're right.  And therein lies the danger.  If they REALLY wanted to fight the law, they'd move hq to Sweden.
There is nothing anyone can say that will satisfy some of you. If any of these companies are playing games with these statements then it will come out eventually. At that point I'm all for letting them have it. But until then, Google hasn't given us any reason not to trust them. I believe them when they talk about how important security and privacy are to them.
+David Sutton I think is more your issue than Google's lol. If you type porn into Google, what do you expect? I don't get the issue. 
Drummond could say this more clearly, but he doesn't. Drummond does not say, "Google is not participating in PRISM." He also doesn't say, "The government is not datamining our users' private content."

Instead, David Drummond says, "We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law." If the law has been written in such a manner as to make PRISM legal, then Google is saying they are participants in PRISM.
What do you expect Google supposed to do? 
Which is even more worrying because you clearly don't know its happening. 
difficult to proof under these laws, maybe better hardware from china...
I can't say this more emphatically, when I say that I trust +Google more than any human being. It has all my info. Now I use an Android, just because it's Google (N4) .

I'm not an US citizen.
And I don't think any company has commanded this type of thrust from millions of users. EVER.
That said, this ridiculously shameful act of data tapping by the US Gov. (For years!) in the name of security, is fanning fears of that Orwellian world coming to life. Does it matter, if its for our ( or the US citizen, its the same at this point) own good ? Freedom curtailed is freedom denied.
The speech by Obama, saying this whole thing prevented a terrorist attack, is just defensively justifying this act. Yes it did. But who's to say tomorrow, he (or anyone in the government) cannot/will not use the same for their own nefarious purposes. It would not be the first time ( or the only country)!

I believe in Google. This is a breach of trust. Google has to reply. Has to retaliate. Has to defend itself from the Gov. clutches. Has to stay free. Has to fight. Has to prove. Because IF ppl loose faith in Google, it might be an end to open internet. Period. Fear does not has to be rational, if it creeps in, ppl WILL loose faith.

Let's not make this too easy for the Governments. Any of them (not just the US).

Thank you +David Drummond  I (we) will take comfort in that, and appreciate any, and all efforts you endure to protect the privacy that we treasure.
Funny how so many of you blindly believe the media (known and PROVEN liars) and distrust Google...  Also, what is it that so many of you are hiding from the Gov that this is pissing you off so much?  Don't give me that BS that "its the principal of it!"  You either don't understand why you hate it so much, have something to hide, or are just being ignorant sheep, following along with the crowd.  
The third sentence is surely true, but contradictory to the rest.
"In accordance with the law."

I suggest people review the law instead of +Google .
Even IF it is happening we are never going to know are we... 
+iPan Baal Great post (the novel idea post). In another post Larry Page said that IF he had known about Prism and been ordered not to say anything about it he would "probably" have resigned. But interestingly enough I haven't seen any post from Larry Page or David Drummond explaining why there are leaked documents of google signing compliance into the Prism operation back in 2009.
+Alexander Ruiz , PRISM is a part of the law, not a law, and currently the law is being unlawful in quite a few cases
i honestly dont care about whether any government has access to my google data or not, as i have nothing to hide. i agree completely that - if justified, e.g. in cases like possible terrorist act prevention - goverments should have access to a specific user. last year, there have been <1000 such requests in the us. have you considered how many people live there? as long as you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. i do and will trust google until they give me a very good reason not to. this is not one.
+iPan Baal there's a big difference between a gassing order, and being told to say a crown thing by a court. I don't know of any such law that would make you say a certain thing, other than saying nothing at all.
+Chessika Z - you're putting Larry/David/others in a no-win situation.

Say, for the sake of argument, he's never seen the documents before now, nor heard of this, how could he explain them?  He could speculate about forgeries, or conspiracy, or any number of speculations, but that would sound even more hollow, and if he's wrong about a particular theory, he has now slandered someone.  That's not a good strategy.  Larry and David have both unequivocally and flatly denied Google's involvement.  If you do not believe him, that is your prerogative.  But saying "Explain this!" about documents shoved in their face that they have no idea about is not going to get any kind of useful response.  The smartest thing he can do is say what he knows is true, that Google was not involved, that he has no explanation for any of this, as they just heard about it, and issue no further statement, pending some sort of new information that might actually help explain what's happening.  

Now let's say for the sake of argument that Google WAS involved... its' the same thing.  Holding the documents up and saying "Explain" will result in precisely no new information, because, presumably, they would not be permitted to say anything about it. 

So you have a situation where, if Google did collude, they can't say, and if they didn't, they don't know where these documents came from, or why, and therefore can't say. 

Really, who can, without further information coming to light?
+Josh Cavender How are you people equating what Obama said to an admission of PRISM? He confirmed the Verizon records issue. Nothing else. Did you listen, or just read the headlines?
Peter S
I use Google services and Android basically cause I trust that they are secure and honest, I have zilch to hide, but if I found out Google was lying even to the extent of clever semantics, I'd fork Google and look somewhere else. There are other options.
Hmm., zo concreet ontkent geloof ik Google wel 
As a 'foreigner' , I have no rights when dealing with any US company. I have known that for a long time. I was all in with my trust of Google in particular. But the hard lesson is that any company or private person outside the US cannot trust any US company with their data. Period. 
While I admire the clear words, the revelations about PRISM are just confirming my scepticism about using IT services provided by US companies.

Google, ever considered moving your business to Switzerland? 
+Christian Gruber
I somewhat agree with what you say. Schmidt, Page and Drummond have their hands full and some of us maybe are attempting to put them in a no-win (for them) situation.
Now look just today there are numerous articles throughout the web of politico's, top cops, and Obama himself talking about how critical it is to stop these leaks, prosecute or persecute, (feel free to choose) the person(s) responsible for leaking these specific documents. Just on those actions alone I have a very difficult time finding ANYONE to believe. +iPan Baal ideas although maybe extreme are accurate in stating basically for Google to play their hand. Someone has to step up and not be intimidated and tell the full true, consequences be damned. This company was built on good ideas... Let them prove to us by their actions and not just carefully crafted press releases. My personal thoughts about Google are more along the line of +VIBHAV KUMAR and I like what he said above. BUT the time has now come for Google and all the rest to make a clear choice... are they really with us? Or are they holding hands behind locked doors with the FBI, NSA and who knows who else?
Conspiracy theories... Conspiracy theories everywhere. You americans are self-centered as hell. You would probably feel bad if you didn't think somebody is always watching you because that would mean nobody gave a shit about your average ordinary life. 
Let us be specific. Has Google ever acceded to a FISA request for "logs of certain search terms"? Or to any other FISA request which could reasonably be described as a "broad sweep for intelligence" as opposed to "inquiries about specific people"? (Source NYT for all the quotes above.) Can you specifically reaffirm that all FISA requests acceded to by Google are "specific orders about individuals" (source Larry Page), contrary to what is suggested by the NYT in the quotes above?
+Google Please make a more concrete statement. The current statement above seems only to fit for us citizens...

Is it against the law (whatever you mean by this) when European citizens are surveiled by US authorities? Are foreign citizens protected by US law at all?

I want to have a statement that is feasible for all of your users and a concrete statement about the relationship between the US government, +Google and non-US-users.
Last time I checked, the burden of proof rested with those making the accusation to prove them, not on the defendant to disprove.. 
State secrets privilege bans the evidence from being presented in court and some of you comment about burden of proof?
Then it seems pretty stupid to throw around accusations that the evidence can't be produced to support.. Done. 
They are called leaks. Usually done by whistleblowers like Russ Tice and Thomas Drake.
And occupy Wall street and it's affiliates were not subject to this sort of surveillance as well right? Okay. 
I seriously object to the fact that a foreign nation can issue court orders to view my personal information!
While there are some saying that they don't mind if the government is taking their information because they have nothing to hide, I shall remind them that who has your information has power over you. There is no such thing as freedom when there's a government secretly watching everything you do. If someone wants to search for something without anyone knowing, no matter the reasons, the person should be able to. Saying that the government should be watching to maintain security goes against the main principle of liberty.

As of Google and Facebook, I still haven't gathered enough data to make an opinion about them, but I do admit I feel compelled to trust Google more than the main media for now, thanks to it's records.
Right here is the question obviously you yanks are being walked over but does the prism order and NSA have any bearing on us on the correct side of the pond?
1) The government dosen't need back-door direct access - Google can package up the material on a DVD for them.  

2) Of course Google doesn't know that they're part of a government project called PRISM.  the NSA are hardly likely to say "we need this data from you and, by the way, this is all going into a special monitoring operation called PRISM, cool name, eh?"

3) Statements saying "we, like you, want more transparency" doesn't absolve the people who run Google from handing what should have been confidential user data to a government.  Google produces a transparency report, but other companies are just paying lip service hoping their CTRs don't go through the floor.   
Believe Google has no knowledge but what if this is being done at the ISP level? Government is not denying and that's the scary thing
+karl waelder "What PRISM is about is the blanket scanning or capture of call and internet activity."  THIS.  They are being truthy, just most people don't realize the finer details.  

"Nobody is listening to your phone calls."  But they are collecting who you call.  When you call them.  How long you talked.  Where you called from.  

They are not in google's servers.  But they can have a copy of every bit of incoming and outgoing information without accessing the google servers.   Web URL requests.  IP and MAC addresses.  Keystrokes.

Everyone should just assume anything on the internet is not secure or private...
+David Sutton you are mistaken. You can not compare +Google with Facebook. They are completely different companies with completely different policies. For instance, you retain the rights to all of your own information, including pictures, things you wrote creatively, and anything you upload to +Google and if you chose to leave, all your information goes with you. Facebook is completely opposite. Anything uploaded onto Facebooks servers, to include anything you type, Facebook gains ownership rights and can use the information anyway it wishes. Actually read policies and terms of use instead of just checking the box next time.

I agree completely with +dustin evans because he is right. I do trust Google to do what they say they will regarding privacy and our information. 
Even tinking that it might happen makes me cringe! Google has been my choice for trust. Not the USA govenment, in ANY respect. It's been a long time comming so don't be surpised by the continuing erosion of freedom. Thanks so much for turning us against ourselves.
Whats so wrong with the gov. Having acces to info... as long as they dont start selling it LOL
Usually I'm pretty permissive on the information I opt to share on the Internet, but this whole story has truly shaken my confidence on the Google product I rely most on, +Gmail.

The idea of having US government officials with the power of requesting PRIVATE data of a European Union citizen (that, in place, has it's own Data and Privacy Protection laws and procedures) seems pretty darn "evil" to me.

You have to take a really strong stance on this issue, address and clarify every single piece of this story to exhaustion if you really want to repair/regain this confidence. For now, I simply stopped trusting Gmail for private and personal communications.
It's all rhetoric, such a vague statement. 'Comply with the law' is meaningless when said laws interrogate billions of non-US people who have no rights under US law. I've asked Google of this for years. Does, for example, a UK Gmail user have their emails stored on US servers or in servers in the UK/Ireland/EU? And do they fall under US law since an American company is in control of them?
Well...   explain that to Obama, he clearly thinks different.
To Google, continue not being evil. I believe you're still making good on your motto.

To everyone else, take some responsibility. If there's information you don't want tracked, don't put it out on the Internet. If you're looking up info on something that could get you in trouble with law enforcement or publicly embarrass you, you probably shouldn't be googling it anyways.

All this technology is a convenience. And data tracking, mining is the side effect.
You can say this more clearly by not describing what you don't do, but what you do. In your words, what's the nature of the system you worked out with the NSA?
You guys are all saying the same thing, "We did not do anything illegal!"

We know the government may have gone to FISA to get it legalized. So you know it may be "legal" but it sure as hell is unconstitutional. Stop lying and tell the truth. 
+iPan Baal How is it twisting the truth to clearly state that if a legal request is made they will comply with it? Are you insinuating things such as "but they also give in to unlawful requests"?

What's a company meant to do break the law, be sanctioned and ultimately shut down with directors in prison? 

You could ask a sensible question such as "please outline the extent of what lawful requests have so far meant?".

What could Google (or any of the other companies) say that you would believe (irrelevant of it being the truth I suppose)? Do you trust anyone?
Good to see not everyone is jumping to illogical conclusions because of a vague media report.

PRISM is not legal, if it even exists. The "legal" that the post is referring to means established law.
I'm amused so many of you are sitting on Google's social network griping about your lack of privacy using your real names and links to personal info. Sure, it's illegal, but if your concerned with privacy, get rid of your email, Facebook, cellphone, videogames, and cable TV because their is no where you can go to avoid this shit. Your Windows PC, your iPhone, your G+ account. Welcome to the cloud.
+Ian Ferguson If everyone were to google (couldn't resist) "stating the obvious", you would Ian's post. 
Good post my friend. Here we are, fully involved, and no way out. Unless you will live in a cave somewhere. 
Even if you saying NSA don't have DIRECT access to servers, they could HACK it or have their agent in Google... Or just "push" gently on Google.
I think what the NYT is suggesting is that the drop box is basically designed to be an efficient way to share information.  NSA sends FISA request.  Google reviews, and submits the data back.  Done by an API after appropriate Google review.  Now this is less scary than what the WaPo reported.  However, I would feel better of Google made a policy of requiring physical requests hand delivered to appropriate corporate agents and officers.
Blame the giant government that can destroy companies like Google with the flick of a pen.
+Ian Ferguson, it's that attitude that has resulted in our current lack of privacy. Let me restate that:
Our lack of privacy is the result of intrusion, not of willing acceptance of government involvement. It's far past time to push back, and I'm glad to see it happening.
lol sure, whatever.  I don't believe you, but it doesn't matter.
The one line, "We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law" nullifies the entire first part of the statement. These are FISA requests, so they are "legal" in the sense that they haven't been challenged. And on top of that, Google and other providers of data are required to stay silent about it. The NSA doesn't need direct access to Google's servers; Google is giving the information to the government because it was requested through a "legal" process. 
No it doesn't. Google is saying that for gov to get access to Google data, a formal legal request must be made, presented, and agreed to before any such data is handed over. Gov employees cannot just open a file browser and look at it. That's a huge distinction.
As +Steve Gibson always says "trust no one" 
It would take one very stupid terrorist to use ggl, fb or any other service sitting right under big bro's nose..WTF this whole thing..Btw I avoid reading my own emails for as long as possible.. so if any poor bastard in black has to do it, I do not envy him that job. If I would have something to hide..I would probably encrypt and freakin' hide it, including any sort of tracks. So would any serious bad guy. So wtf..
But Mr. President of USA has already confirmed everything.
This is a scare tactic created by our government who released the papers themselves as anon. This is in attempt to scare the public into fearing the freedom of speach online provided by companies like +Google+ and +Facebook. My take aways... remove the white house from my conversations by unliking them and removing from my circles. I do now more then ever appreciate the keyword removal from my analytics. Thank you +Larry Page for keeping my privacy safe and my access to knowledge open. 
+Hayden Coonan what reputation??? let me remind you about their cooperation with the Chinese gov not so long time ago. You are wrong. sorry.
poop ((this is random i was bored ok?))

The National Security Agency has not obtained direct access to the systems of Apple, Google, Facebook, and other major Internet companies, CNET has learned.

Recent reports in the Washington Post and the Guardian claimed a classified program called PRISM grants "intelligence services direct access to the companies' servers" and that "from inside a company's data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes."

Those reports are incorrect and appear to be based on a misreading of a leaked Powerpoint document, according to a former government official who is intimately familiar with this process of data acquisition and spoke today on condition of anonymity.
+Ryan Moulton CNET cannot be trusted as a reliable news source. Did you see what happened in regards to CES? CNET is owned by CBS, which we know will knowingly use falsified documents in their reporting and change the reporting to fit the corporation's image. 
"Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media."

You receive different kinds of blanket orders than what Verizon does.

Got it.
+James Sullins really? They are going out of their way to be clear that they are not doing anything different than what they've publicized before. 
+David Drummond I believe they don't have direct access to your servers, but do they have your SSL private keys? That is not direct access, but for them its probably even better...
If they wanna look through all my user data, they'll find hours of YouTube video watching and a few porn searches in there somewhere lol
I do trust Google. Hell, my entire life is basically on their servers thanks to Android. Will I keep using them? Uh, yes. Do I trust the regime? Fuck no. 
Not getting it are we? Things are different now. We expected some level of privacy. We trusted you with our information and you have broken that trust. That cannot be taken back.

As a Canadian citizen I have no legal protection from your government snooping so long as the Patriot act stands and your servers reside in the US. You can claim the law prevents domestic spying but what about your international users? Howcan I belive you 
If you're going to complain about it then you can go live else where. I heard Somalia is doing awesome with no government. Or don't use Google. Either way you're not going to change a law that has likely stopped numerous large scale crimes. If you're not doing anything illegal then who cares. 
I thought this information was local , not almost front page.People should take care in responding to this and other harmful information
I have a better idea. Use services in Europe and other places outside the us where privacy is law and service providers are under no legal obligation to serve US hiprocracy
+Brian Tehan If they don't receive any blanket orders, then he should have said that. Instead, he said something else.
LOL Ben N live somewhere else? Not neccecary. Just don't use american internet services and your good to go, even if u live in the US. They can split outbound traffic but if its encrypted they are not going to snoop you unless your a specific target. If you don't use american internet companies your at least protected from this "easy way" as the NSA puts it.
+James Sullins  - please read the post above - he just said that they have not received blanket orders.  He just did.  You can twist things to try to find a loophole, but I know these people, they are trying to be as specific and clear as possible, but it is not possible to do if you won't read what they say, and accept the obvious meaning and intention of their statement.

You are free to disbelieve them, naturally.  But the searching for the teeny loophole is just unworthy.  Either they're lying, in which case who cares what they said, they lied.  Or they are telling the truth about not in a collusive relationship with government, in which case, all the wording choices are similarly irrelevant.  But when you comment thus, you make it so they cannot ever say anything satisfactory, regardless of the truth or falsity of it.

It feels like you are simply hunting for a tacit admission, and won't accept anything but. 
While many here are freaking out about PRISM, I take the view that PRISM is nothing more than bullshit. To store and process all the data from Google, Apple, Yahoo et al, they would require a datacenter larger than any of the companies they are allegedly collecting data on.
We have seen in the news how much money it takes for any of the aforementioned players to set up a data center. We can only imagine how many HDD's that means. Given the amount of data, anybody working with it will require more cpu's than any of the aforementioned companies.
Some contractor sold the NSA a lot of hot air. This has happened before... if you google "Fake Iraq Bomb Detector."
+William Dixey if you sit and think about it, anytime Google has done wrong they have quickly righted their mistakes, and have offered up info whenever they have mistakenly collected data (collecting WiFi data via Google streets car) when nobody even knew. How many companies do you know that do that and don't just try to cover it up
To all the people complaining that Google gives your info to the government, why do you have Google+
Almost all of todays people put information about themselves out there that other regular people can access easily and readily. To say that the government's use of the information we all willingly put out there is infringing on our privacy rights, is complete bs.
+Barret Mason Elder The US Constitution doesn't extend rights to non-citizens not on US soil.

Also people saying all government requests are legal because they are law are plain wrong. Companies can fight requests that are against established written law and Google does this successfully all the time.

If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, nothing is cool.
If all you people don't believe Google's statement then why are you still on here? Stop being trolls.
+VIBHAV KUMAR The US government doesn't view all of the info. Computers sift through it to flag possible terrorism. Even if you don't live in the US, the odds of being monitored unjustifiably is slim.
Yeah Google won't give your data to the government. They are earning enough money from all those advertisers. And as long as I'm getting all my online stuffs for free, I don't really care. Not all about me can be found online anyway.
Unfortunately opportunists in the US government will continue to twist your words until yo fight the full depth of both FISA, etc.  use some of that extra billions not paid out in corporate tax..but we do notice that those who do not take advantage of tax loopholes do in fact strongly stand up to FISA and free internet..Google should be effing ashamed of themselves
I really, truly want to believe this, because I know that Google has been great about being transparent when it comes to government requests for information.  Letting us know how many, etc.  But the atmosphere right now is full of so much uncertainty that it's hard to believe.  

I don't believe Facebook for a second after having read recently about how buddy buddy they are with Palantir, and that they might be the company behind PRISM.  

So here's hoping that Google is standing up for us, as they have stood up to various government's worldwide, i.e. China.  
I'm a developer and I believe and trust this statement as Google has made it abundantly clear that they are deeply concerned with users privacy and influencing democracy. Contrast how much about their code and facilities that is public knowledge (such as open source code) to company like Microsoft. If you are concerned about your privacy as it relates to Google then stop complaining and contribute to auditing Google's code base, tour their facilities as they often allow, meet their leading staff at any of the 500 million conferences they're at each year and get answers to your questions.
"We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law."  Okay; how much data have you provided to the government, on what dates, under what circumstances?  With regard to "pushing back", in what instances has this occurred?  What would cause Google to "push back" against a governmental request?  What kind of requests is Google receiving from the government, and how frequently?  What is the process used by Google to determine Google needs to "push back", and of what does that "pushing back" consist?

More details, Google.  Continual assurances that you "provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law" are not going to cut it here.  It is clear that there are "secret" laws, known only the NSA, Executive Branch, and a very few Representatives and Senators, but not to the public.  So while it may very well be that Google is staying "in accordance with the law", if we don't know what those laws are and how they are applied to Google, you're assurances are essentially valueless.
Conspiracy theorists unite! Ignore the fact that Google has been openly reporting the number of government requests they receive with their transparency report. Instead, lets believe one half baked article that implies total government control based on some slides that vaguely describe that the government gets data from these companies (which obviously means all data no questions asked, right?). Learn how the internet works people. And why would Drummond risk his entire career for the govt by saying clearly, on record, that the reports are absolutely false. And why would Google publish a transparency report if they gave the government complete access? This has officially become ridiculous.
google is very nice search engine.
Tnanks google team
What we need +Google +David Drummond is easy gmail encryption end to end military grade for free, and a paid service that encrypts history and drive. People give gmail flack even though they do a pretty good job with privacy, make google the best place for your privacy. We want to know even if there is a court order, sensitive info is still secure. 
Yup, bullshit. PRISM may be "legal", but is still Orwellian as hell. Do no evil, my ass. You are complicit, you bastards.
+arron joseph I am tempted to say, "Yeah, we know. We have been watching your posts and can't keep our eyes open." But I won't 'cause we would just get in a big flame war. If either of us could keep our eyes open.....
Take a chill, Google Guys - You seem a little stressed and defensive on things....
Don't really long as ya'll leave my Meth stash alone .  Go ahead and "out-importance " each other to Death !
+Elizabeth C. You are correct. According to the gag order disclosing these requests may result in “a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person.”

I think that is why it is so amazing that Google has taken the risk of publishing any info on NSL data requests at all.
ALL OF THESE bEAUTIFUL PEOPLE   so paranoid. What do YOU have to HIDE ??
". We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law" That sounds just like when the Chinese press, web orgs or weibo says "act in accordance to all applicable rules and regulations"
I think that you guys need to tell us and be honest. Or are you not allowed to because of laws? The Guardian and other papers will eventually get the truth out. You may as well be honest and be upfront about it. As soon as the stories break, not even, but especially, if you are bound by legal privilege or other terms, you should do the right thing and be upfront.
What wikipedia says about evil: Evil is profound immorality. In certain religious contexts evil has been described as a supernatural force. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its root motives and causes. However elements that are commonly associated with evil involve unbalanced behavior involving expediency, selfishness, ignorance, or neglect.
Sorry, bud, but you don't have a leg to stand on anymore when it comes to the truth. "Do No Evil" is long gone at Google despite all you say. You can harp on this all you want.
In accordance with the law huh?  Yeah, this PRISM shit is legal by PATRIOT Act standards.  So tell me again how the government isn't taking the information.
I sincerely hope it never comes out that you all lying google.  We can understand Microsoft and Facebook... but this would really drive that final nail into the whole 'do no evil' line, huh.
+1 this comment if you'd like +David Drummond to write a post explaining what "only in accordance with the law" means in practice.  His language here seems evasive (much like the original post co-written with Larry Page). 
I can make PowerPoint slides too.. Seriously... This is not evidence.. 
And if you did, would you acknowledge it or deny it?

Oh? ok...
Who is served by misguided paranoia? 
I don't know who to trust and who not to trust. Closing all my accounts anyway. I don't need this shit.
My position is believable because it lines up with all the provided evidence.. I'm simply a g+ user from a foreign country assessing what's before me..

And if all of the people here screaming conspiracy theories were really convinced... You wouldn't be here.. You have the choice to walk away, and leave Google+ to us who trust Google at their word.. 
Thanks Google. Looks like all those people having a whinge about Google being 'evil' got owned.
Wouldn't be fair to take your money like that, +iPan Baal .. And I'm not a gambling man on principle. That's why I'm on G+.. Surest bet of all the options.. ;) 
all that schooling and you don't know the difference between "to" and "too" - what are you a public defender?
Let me get this straight: you gave your government the power to order Google to hand over user data and to prohibit Google from revealing anything about those requests, and now you have the gaul to put the blame on Google for not telling you everything you want to know about those requests? How about we stop whining, and start writing letters to our senators and representatives to tell them to fix this mess, which we all allowed to happen. Or donate money to the EFF (, who keeps an eye on these kinds of issues.
If that's true, then you should be suing the NSA for defamation. Put your money where your mouth is. If you're not willing to do that, why not?
Well put "too", and "to" as EB White would say! Who needs a too or to-  just use IPv6 instead of IPv4 - no backdoors required! Not sure what legal precedence there is - may be the Harvard Classics has something in there from Ben Franklin's day! What all seems to be missing is the integrity and trust of the network has been broken,  no data loss protection, no privacy, and belief systems across the globe are all extremely disappointed regarding the Statue of Liberty - including the policies, and worst management of trillion's of dollars of investment in networks and the defense weapon systems gone - those are the real tax dollars  - maybe that's a silver lining to wake up too!  Hope we can travel again safely in the future - our lives are being laid out for all in the world to be seen!  
+Kevin Bowen - if anyone gets sued for defamation it would be the press who printed the story and the leaker, not the NSA.. And I would think it a waste of money - it'd cost more to pursue than it would reap in returns when won.. 
+Chris Stewart said: "If subject to FISA what is the compelling motive for Google and +David Drummond to issue this comment? "

Every tech company & telecom on earth is issuing similar statements because of the shitstorm this has created. If Google didn't say anything, it would look highly suspicious. And since the wording here is curiously similar to everyone else's statements, we can only wonder who's actually writing these press releases.
Or Google shot first and everyone copied..

Who did issue the first denial? 
The original article on the Washington Post has removed the accusation that the government had "direct" access to company servers...
More interested in facts than speculations and what ifs.. Find those articles, +iPan Baal 
This betrayal of trust on all parts just sucks.
+dustin evans
Meh. Google helps to get out worldwide fiber, helps prevent senseless motor injuries and deaths, and helps Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, in his quest to bring forth the Singularity, and live forever.
I think Google doesn't know that their part of prism because the supposed China hack in 2011 is plausible deniability that our government did it, installed some elite rootkit software on googles servers and it could have advanced ARP poisoning capability and they could be redirecting traffic right to the NSA without googles knowledge. Seriously though, the NSA and CIA got covert operatives that could easily either a. Bug Google, place a small device on one of their servers physically. Or simply hack them and redirect traffic or allow them global access within googles networks. I have a very strong gut feeling that they were either hacked or their hardware is bugged. Its not far fetched and very possible and plausable 
+Philip Perry "dissident: A person who opposes official policy, esp. that of an authoritarian state." I have "inappropriate" views sometimes. I dissent sometimes. Should I be fearful of expressing those views? Should I need to worry that a secret court in a foreign country could order my data rummaged through? 
I do trust Google with my data as much as you can, by that I mean they can only do so much to protect it from network intrusions. The only person you should ever full trust with your data is you. Google has made it's self very clear over the years about how it use our data and for some reason this transparent approach seams to have confused some people. I follow data security in the news to help protect myself and I know Google receives and denies countless data access request from governments, Google only ever release data under court orders and I have no reason to doubt that. Thank you Google for being transparent I the more details you provide the more informed decision I can make. 
I think this is my and Google's final stand. If they're telling the truth, then it's good to know that they can be trusted with all of our information. If, after this firm denial of guilt, they turn out to have been collaborating, then that's it. 

I'm out.
+Garmon Estes
 those figures don't include FISA requests, which are, by definition secret and off-book.
FB I trust NOT a bit. Google I'm sure u have harmful spy activity as I feel all others do too even if you don't allow or approve. Nothing I feel can be done.

I don't blame you +Google. +Google is the heart of my internet life. I have been using gmail as my primary email address since it was born, google maps for my daily route, Google news for my hourly news update, Android phone for 24/7, and many more. Nobody, other than my family, knows me any better than Google does.

I understand the fact that I won't get the same privacy protection from any US company as a non-US citizen. And I very much understand that paranoia and fear are the tools of some intelligence agencies against their own people, let alone the non-US people who they barely consider as human beings. And when president of that country asks to choose between privacy and security, how is the internet going to be any freer than the internet in countries like China?

Waiting for the better tomorrow.
+Google know what they're doing. They respect users, even though most of them don't pay for anything. I know I'm biased towards Google, but I seriously don't think they could get this far without being able to deal with privacy issues.
+Adam Pearce There was a gag order on NSL's as well but Google sidestepped it by offering a numerical range. I agree that it would be nice to know the number of FISA requests as well.
This isn't a denial, this is the oligarch saying "Shut up, serfs, we'll do as we please and make any laws we want to make it 'legal'".

Some of the apologists and optimists on here make me sad for my generation, who is going to inherit this mess from you fools.
What does "Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media" mean, exactly?  What "kind being discussed"?  Can we get Google on record saying specifically, "we have not received a court order under under 50 USC 1881a (AKA FISA Section 702)"?  Otherwise this statement just seems to be deliberately misleading, because you can always say later, "oh, we were talking about the other kind of blanket order".  Or you could say, "we have not received any blanket order".  But note that this is very specifically what is not being said.
You people suck. You're using an app created by a company that released a positive statement and all you guys do is turn it into crap. And none of your lives are important enough for the government to care anyway, sorry.
I love Google Service; Been using them since 2005. But if Google wants to be more "transparent" why not notify the user of the Data the Government is requesting? A simple email "Hey your corrupt government wants this information on you.." 

The "Transparency Report" only provides a small amount of unclear information; Why not give us more? Is the Government requesting Emails sent/received by a User? Searches done by the User?

You want to be Transparent, but you're more Translucent. Should probably change the name to "Translucency Report"
First: Big fan of all Google products untill today. I've left Microsoft, Apple and Facebook and went all in on Google.
Second: All credit to +Edward Snowden for daring to show the world what we already might have suspected. I really hope he can make it through this!

Now, that said, if time shows that Google had any knowing in this then that's it for me. Would love to have a pair of google glasses, but not when Unckle Sam is watching as well. I really hope +David Drummond knows what he is talking about...
The whole oligarch hates you, serfs. Don't you get it yet? You are just funding and fodder. 
Finding the perfect balance in this situation is very hard. Mixed feelings is what I have when I think about this topic. 

On one hand, I don't want my privacy being compromised. But... on the other hand, if the government (or whoever) can put a stop to activities of criminals, terrorists, pedophiles, etc. by just using the data that Google can contribute, go ahead.

As I said a perfect balance in this situation is hard, really hard. In my humble opinion the best way would be to only give information of people who are already known, somehow, as dangerous criminals.

Honestly, if you're a terrorist or a pedophile, I don't give a •••• about your privacy.
It will come to show, that no matter what happens... People with continue to use Google Service just as they always have. People will sit here, spit a bunch of nonsense, claim they are refusing to use service by those that provide information to the government but will continue to use those service. 

I personally couldn't care either way. Would I like Google to be more Transparent instead of Translucent about the information they turn over to the US Dictators? Yes. But I have nothing to hide from them either; so what do I have to worry about.

Those that are doing wrong are the ones that will make the biggest deal out of this issue.
Then you have your idiots that are misunderstanding what the issue truly is..
Dear Mr. Drummond...

Is that "they don't have access or a back door" in the same way Google said that the streetview cars didn't record wifi data until you finally admitted in court that you did after it came to light?
From past history we have seen how well people have taken care of indecretion and their need for power we all deal with depending on the pay not enough or a lot or more. 
Nobody says you are doing anything illegal, but that is hardly the point. The point is whether what is legal is also morally and politically tolerable.
Well if you guys have no knowledge of this, and the NSA is doing this behind your back, then why do you know just start highly encrypting your data so that as it goes through servers it can't be touched by anyone. Look at how mega does it then mimic a similar system. 
How did it go at Bilderberg... Google? I'm not really as concerned about Internet social sites such as Google and Facebook being in league with with the criminalized, satanic NWO types as I once were. The cats' outta the bag and the world won't put up with your BS. I know it, you know it and you scumbags are going down!
It makes me sick to my stomach how our government has been spying on us in the name of "protecting us from terrorists".  Why aren't more people outraged?  I find it very disturbing that the current administration has allowed the NSA to have carte-blanche to all of our records.  I guess I was under the impression this was the USA not communist Russia with the "secret police" who spies on all their citizens.
They do not need access to Google.  It would be easier to get click stream data the same way Hitwise, Compete and ComScore get their data.  For that matter, it would be easy to just buy access to these services - albeit, that only gets you about 20MM Americans. They get the data directly from the ISP (read the fine print on your cable modem contract).  A better place might be the backbone itself – e.g. TAP right into AT&T, Cogent, Level3, NTT, SBC, Verizon, Sprint, XO, CenturyLink and several more and you’ve got a massive chunk of the Internet. It would be difficult to tap these networks without permission.  The tap would be in the switches and relay devices. Marketers are already buying clickstream data.  It would not be a big leap for the government to get access to the same sort of data.  In fairness to the marketers, services like Hitwise scrub the data of personally identifiable stuff down to zip+4 (which is a tight little group of houses and likely identifiable if you pay enough money to get the granular data).  This is probably a true statement "the government does not have access to Google servers".  I believe it.  Question: Does the government have access to real-time clickstream data on (including exit and entry) any of your networks? The wording "as transparent as possible" does not make me warm and fuzzy.  Technology is readily available to capture and archive clickstream.
I would say that an explanation of your situation seems futile. People are going to believe what they want to believe, and for the most part explanation only tends to give more ammunition for them to degrade the people or corporations involved. People tend to find fault in everything, big or little. I'm sure other search engines, when they get larger will be the focus of attack in one way or another. I would say don't waist your breath trying to tell whoever might listen that you're not what has been said about you. People love to wallow in DIRTY LAUNDRY, imagined, half asked, or filthy true. so.. good luck with that
anyways, if the US govt. think that they can spy on us, our data and invade our privacy and tell us that it is for our own security, well then I believe hackers getting into their databases and files  isn't a crime. If they think what they are doing is legal, then what the hackers do has to be legal too...
If for a meagre look into their files is crime and the hackers is going to the jail and crucified, then the US Govt. must be in the jail too...
Honestly I do not care if the government is listening to my phone calls. I want it publicly known that I take no responsibility if the person listening to my phone calls commit suicide due to the boring, dull and stupid nature of my conversation. Same thing for my emails. Nothing secret,or terribly important about them either. Don't see what the big deal is IF you are not breaking the law, or plan to.
I would have to agree with Keith olszewski, I don't care if the government is listening to any thing,i been doing ,!!
We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law.
And that is where the problem is.  You are an American company and as such are bound by draconian American laws.
I didn't have s cunprt I merd er back I need my tent back I needy greenhouse h back something happened toy g android
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