Google, Facebook and Twitter among top tech firms calling for sweeping reforms to US surveillance
The group, including Microsoft, Google and Apple, say that the balance has tipped "in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual"
Monday 09 December 2013
Eight of the world’s leading technology companies have called on the US government to implement sweeping reforms to the country’s surveillance policy and put a halt to the “bulk data collection of Internet communications.”
Aol, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo have formed a coalition in what is the business world’s most concerted public condemnation of government surveillance to date.
“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens,” writes the US-based group in an open letter published online and in papers this Monday. “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.”
The proposals come after documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which US and UK agencies spy on citizens worldwide, often without legal oversight.
“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”
The companies have outlined five “reform principles” that they wish the US government to adopt, with a general aim of limiting indiscriminate surveillance and increasing public transparency and accountability.
The firms also make it clear that their commercial interests are at stake, arguing that “the ability of data to flow or be accessed across borders is essential to a robust 21st century global economy” and that users have lost faith in the security of their data.
“Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
“Today we join our colleagues in the tech industry calling on the United States Congress to change surveillance laws in order to ensure transparency and accountability for government actions."
The group's letter and policy reforms can be read in full here.
Life & Style blogs
Bombsheller: The website that makes us all into top fashion designers
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
The 10 Best kitchen knives
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Leading Sof...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a PE...
£45 - 60k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultant (Big Data / IT ...