NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland
The Silicon Valley giants are taking the NSA snooping matter
in their own hands. Fully aware about the damage on their reputation as US companies, done by what started with the inconspicuously named Patriot Act, and extended to overarching electronics surveillance by the NSA, they issued an open letter to President Obama and Congress with the following content:
An open letter to Washington
Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,
We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.
For our part, we are focused on keeping users’ data secure — deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.
We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com
AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo
Now with the open letter of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, AOL and Yahoo, the tech giants, which represent quite a large chunk of US GDP, are urging for more transparency. Who can blame them - under the gag orders from the secretive FISA court, they can't mention how many requests for disclosing information they are getting by the NSA, let alone the snooping specifics, which might result in exodus of users looking for spy-free alternatives.