Monday, December 9, 2013

Silicon Valley firms pressuring Obama to curb surveillance


In view of the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry's financial livelihood, some of the major Silicon Valley giants are reportedly escalating pressure on President Obama to curb the the government's surveillance plan.

A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, Reform Government Surveillance 

The crusade united eight firms that often compete fiercely against each other, but find themselves joined now to limit the potential damage from revelations about the National Security Agency's snooping on Web surfers.

In the meanwhile, Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and AOL Inc. joined Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the push for tighter controls over electronic espionage. The group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.



The open letter to Washington reads:
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 favour 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 Reform Government Surveillance

Sincerely,

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo

via | Source


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