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Transparency Reporting for Beginners

Since Google published its first “transparency report” in 2010, many other Internet companies large and small have started issuing there own reports on government demands for user data. And now, in light of recent revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance of the Internet through programs like “PRISM”, a broad coalition of companies, privacy advocates and transparency experts have joined together to demand that the government allow even more reporting about national security surveillance. Come learn from some of those companies, advocates and experts about the opportunities and challenges that come with doing your own transparency reporting, and hear why transparency reporting is good for privacy and free speech, good for democracy, good for your company’s bottom line, and good for the Internet industry as a whole.


  1. What are the current best practices when it comes to issuing transparency reports, and what are the typical types of data included in a transparency report?
  2. What are the biggest challenges that come with compiling and issuing transparency reports, for both large and small companies, and how can they be overcome?
  3. How are transparency reports important to protecting users' privacy?
  4. How can transparency reporting give individual companies and the American internet industry generally a competitive business advantage?
  5. What are the latest developments around the Internet community’s call for the US government to allow more transparency around national security-related requests for user data?



Kevin Bankston, Senior Counsel & Free Expression Director, Center for Democracy & Technology

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