The FBI can issue what are called National Security Letters (NSL) to requisition information on internet and telephone companies. These companies are often prevented from talking about these requests by the FBI. In an effort to encourage greater transparency, Google has worked with the Obama administration to disclose broad ranges of the number of requests the company has received.
This is the first time numbers like these have been released. Google said, in its blog post on the subject, that the use of ranges was “to address concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about the investigations.”
The number range of NSL requests will be included in Google’s Transparency Report. The report includes information about the number of requests to remove content for copyright infringement Google receives from companies as well as information regarding user data.