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Friday, March 14, 2014
IBM Says It Has Not Provided Any User Data To Government

In view of the wide range of proposed government regulations around the world related to the handling and treatment of data,, IBM on Fiday said it has not relinquished its customers' data to the U.S. government.

Robert Weber, IBM's senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs, wrote in the blog post that IBM has not provided client data (bulk or metadata) to the National Security Agency (NSA) or any other government agency under the program known as PRISM. He added that the company has not provided client data stored outside the United States to the U.S. government under any national security order, such as a FISA order or a National Security Letter.

Commenting on the alleged "backdoors" in some products reported by various NSA document leaks, Weber said that IBM does IBM provide software source code or encryption keys to the NSA or any other government agency for the purpose of accessing client data.

In case a government wants access to data held by IBM on behalf of an enterprise client, the company would expect that government to deal directly with that client, Weber said.

"If the U.S. government were to serve a national security order on IBM to obtain data from an enterprise client and impose a gag order that prohibits IBM from notifying that client, IBM will take appropriate steps to challenge the gag order through judicial action or other means," Weber said.

He added that the company would challenge national security orders to obtain data stored outside the United States and that efforts to access that data should go through recognized legal channels like treaties.

In the post, Weber also called for greater transparency and a robust debate about government surveillance.

"Data is the next great natural resource, with the potential to improve lives and transform institutions for the better. However, establishing and maintaining the public's trust in new technologies is essential," he wrote.

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