The National Security Agency (NSA) and GCHQ action has provoked many Internet users to question when the government can access their data, and under what circumstances. We think this is a good time to reiterate how Thexyz handles customer data.
Our policy is simple: your data is your data. Period. We will not access, transfer or deliver data stored on servers by our customers except in response to a properly issued, lawful order (for example, search warrants, court orders, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Orders) from a court with appropriate jurisdiction over Thexyz and the data sought.
That means that U.S. authorities can’t issue a warrant to recover data stored by our customers on servers located in the U.K. British officials can’t recover data stored by our customers in the U.S. without the involvement of a U.S. court. By contract and in practice, Thexyz customers have full control over their servers and any data that may be stored on those servers. Thexyz does not have any control of that.
If we are to receive an official, lawful order from authorities for the data of a specific customer. When that happens, you have every assurance that we will fight for our customers and take every possible legal route available to challenge it. Sometimes, however, the courts don’t side in our favor and we must comply.
Transparency is one of our core values at Thexyz, which is why we’re writing this post. In the spirit of transparency, I can tell you that we at Thexyz have never been served with a blanket warrant that requires us to give data owned by more than a few specific customers. If we were served with such a warrant, we would fight it because it would be, by its very nature, overreaching and a violation of our core values.
We want to be as transparent with our customers as possible. That’s one reason we support the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013 recently introduced by Sen. Al Franken. The bill urges transparency of government surveillance programs and helps Americans hold the government more accountable. The bill seeks to expand and improve ongoing government reporting about programs under the PATRIOT Act and Foreign intelligence Surveillance Act that have been the subject of controversy recently. The bill would also protect the ability of companies like Thexyz to voluntarily disclose information about the data the government requires them to turn over.
Through the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, or similar legislation, we can make clear what the NSA and other government agencies are and are not allowed to do with the digital data of law-abiding citizens.