Why companies can't resist the US Govt's data demands

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook may deny giving the US government open access to their users’ information. But that's little comfort in an era where national security laws can easily force their hand.

US Internet companies that want to resist government demands to hand over customer data for intelligence investigations have few legal options, due to the classified nature of such probes and a court review process shrouded in secrecy.

Google Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp are among the big US technology companies that were outed this week as key sources of data for the National Security Agency (NSA), under a surveillance program referred to inside the spy agency as Prism.

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