Gigaom

In a case of bad PR trumping legalities, big U.S. tech providers will alert customers when their records have been subpoenaed by the U.S. government, according to a Washington Post report.

Tech companies — Facebook(s fb), Google(s goog), Microsoft(s msft), and Apple(s aapl) among them — have grown increasingly alarmed about government data gathering procedures, in which they receive subpoenas for customer information stored in their cloud systems but are told not to inform their customers about the searches.

Now, according to the Post, those companies have decided to err on the side of disclosure despite what’s printed on the subpoenas. According to the report:

“This increasingly defiant industry stand is giving some of the tens of thousands of Americans whose Internet data gets swept into criminal investigations each year the opportunity to fight in court to prevent disclosures. Prosecutors, however, warn that tech companies may undermine cases by tipping off…

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