Tech Titans Band Together in Effort to Limit Government Surveillance

The heads of eight of the U.S.'s largest tech companies have started a campaign for new limits on how the government collects user information

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The biggest names in tech launched their staunchest effort yet to change the way the U.S. and other governments collect user data from the Internet. The heads of eight of America’s largest tech companies — a roster that includes Google’s Larry Page, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook — endorsed the campaign to call for new limits on government surveillance.

All together, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn and AOL issued an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress calling for reforms and restrictions on government surveillance. “While the undersigned companies understand that governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety and security, we strongly believe that current laws and practices need to be reformed,” the CEOs said.

Tech giants are scrambling to regain users’ trust in the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaked documents that showed a high frequency of government snooping on people’s online activities. Since then, the largest Internet companies have attempted to become more transparent about the NSA’s surveillance requests in an effort to prove they’re not government stooges — and a path to reform is laid out in this latest open letter.

The Reform Government Surveillance effort calls for five changes: limiting government authority to collect user information; better oversight and accountability of intelligence agencies, more transparency about the government’s demands; respect for the free flow of data across borders; and avoiding conflicts between governments.

“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,” the letter says. “This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.”

12 comments
daridekas
daridekas

it is nice to know that those giants are fighting for our rights but i am not very convinced that this really happens.

admin2:invetrics 

LeonardWaks
LeonardWaks

The language in the Silicon Titan's website is excellent. Now we need a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT containing just this language. Bottom line: no secret laws;  no secret courts; no secret edicts or directives to individuals or corporate bodies. Secrecy (if time limited) has an important role, but not in those areas. 

StephanieNelson
StephanieNelson

So we go from telling the Government to back off, to letting these giant corporations and potentially others have an open book. Yeah, America, guess what - your corporations are ruling you, it's hardly about the Government any more.... get real!

craigslistrr
craigslistrr

the tech giants do their own spying on citizen/users.

FaizanAli
FaizanAli

“People won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”

Its about time they realized this fact. Its a good positive move we are seeing from these giants. But we all know that this is not going to help unless and until we empower ourselves. Though there is no ultimate solution but VPNs and TOR can help!

“While a VPN is not the “fix-all” solution, it does help lessen one’s metadata IP footprint. By simply masking one’s IP and encrypting the web session, this can help prevent personal data from being unlawfully recorded and attached to a permanent metadata record.” http://www.bestvpnservice.com/blog/an-interview-with-torguard-ceo-benjamin-van-pelt/

I made this presentation “how to protect your Privacy” based on what the TorGuard CEO had to say about NSA and Privacy. Hope you all find it useful:http://www.slideshare.net/odinforce/interview-highlights-of-tor-guards-ceo

JackWolf
JackWolf

It feels like having a nut, creep or a pervert going though your things.  And, those tech giants better follow their own advice.

horatiofisk
horatiofisk

Funny article when you consider the 'tech titans' are far worse, predatory and have no care for the consumers information....only how much they can get and sell.... Google and Facebook a couple of the worst who should have been indicted by now.

AaronCohn
AaronCohn

Better late than never.

Or maybe not.

LeonardWaks
LeonardWaks

@StephanieNelson Where do they in this document demand an "open book"? We need to keep the issues here distinct. The state has the power to indict, imprison and execute. The constitution exists to reign in this power. Firms cannot indict, imprison or execute. They can datamine, of course, and then aggressively market you a princess telephone in your favorite color. They can also buy and sell your data, and it can get into the wrong hands. All no good, but when you think of the victims, does Brad Manning come to mind?