We knew this was coming, but maybe we didn't know how fast and furious is would happen.
" "(Reuters) - Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week."
Demands from governments for Internet companies to hand over user information have become routine, according to online privacy researcher and activist Christopher Soghoian, who makes extensive use of freedom-of-information requests in his work.
"Every decent-sized U.S. telecoms and Internet company has a team that does nothing but respond to requests for information," Soghoian told Reuters in an interview.
Soghoian estimates that U.S. Internet and telecoms companies may receive about 300,000 such requests in connection with law enforcement each year -- but public information is scarce.
While U.S. courts are obliged to publish reports on wire-tapping of telephone lines, no similar information is required to be made public with respect to the Internet -- which grew up after the laws on electronic communications were passed."