(CNN) — The U.S. government on Friday will ask the secret court overseeing government electronic surveillance to declassify certain broad statistics -- hoping to prevent Google and Microsoft from releasing more detailed information, CNN has learned.
The government wants the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to let it release how many metadata requests it has made of telecommunications and Internet companies, broken down by type of requests, a U.S. official with knowledge of the plans said.
Metadata includes time and duration of calls, and other basic information -- not the actual substance of the information, which would require a separate search warrant.
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