This year's "Who Has Your Back" report published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has just been released and Twitter is sitting pretty in the number one spot. In contrast, Facebook, Apple and Amazon all ranked very low on the list.
The report is based on how far the world's biggest tech companies go to protect your data from government demands. Each company is evaluated on six different criteria and given a star if they fit the requirements. Of the 18 companies tested, only two met every criteria with an excellent rating.
Twitter and Sonic.net both scored a full six stars, while on the other end of the scale, Myspace was awarded nothing. Facebook was middle of the road with three stars while Google, Dropbox, and Spideroak all tied for second best with five stars each.
If you are interested in how the EFF defines and rates each category, I have listed them below.
- Require a warrant for content of communications. In this new category, companies earn recognition if they require the government to obtain a warrant supported by probable cause before they will hand over the content of user communications. This policy ensures that private messages stored by online services like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are treated consistently with the protections of the Fourth Amendment.
- Tell users about government data requests. To earn a star in this category, Internet companies must promise to tell users when the government seeks their data unless prohibited by law. This gives users a chance to defend themselves against overreaching government demands for their data.
- Publish transparency reports. We award companies a star in this category if they publish statistics on how often they provide user data to the government.
- Publish law enforcement guidelines. Companies get a star in this category if they make public policies or guidelines they have explaining how they respond to data demands from the government, such as guides for law enforcement.
- Fight for users' privacy rights in courts. To earn recognition in this category, companies must have a public record of resisting overbroad government demands for access to user content in court.1
- Fight for users' privacy in Congress. Internet companies earn a star in this category if they support efforts to modernize electronic privacy laws to defend-users in the digital age by joining the Digital Due Process Coalition.