The government has not yet committed to releasing a final tally of how many troops use the internet, according to a letter sent Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and 15 other members of Congress to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Blumenauer and the other lawmakers asked Guterren to ensure that the U.K. government will provide a complete and transparent estimate of how much the military uses the internet.
The letter, signed by 12 Democrats and three Republicans, says that since the military can only provide estimates of how long the internet is used, it’s not enough to count the internet as an integral part of its military operations.
The government also hasn’t said how many Americans use the Internet, how many are overseas and whether they have access to the internet outside of the U, the letter says.
Blumenaus letter says it’s critical to “assess the full scale of the use of the internet for the military, and the number of people who are not using the web.”
“It is essential that the United Kingdom is able to accurately estimate how many of our soldiers use the web and to provide a comprehensive estimate of the amount of data on the web,” the letter said.
“It also is imperative that the information on the internet be made available to the public, in a timely and accurate manner.”
The military is still reviewing the letter, but the military’s chief of staff, Lieutenant General David H. Stuckart, told Recode in an email that he expected to receive a response from Guterre in the next 24 hours.
A senior military official told Recoding that the military has made a “tremendous effort” to ensure it is providing accurate and up-to-date information about the military using the Internet.
But it also said it has to be careful not to overestimate the number.
The U.k. government did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.