Apple, Google, Microsoft Want Gov Surveillance Curtailed
Eight U.S. tech companies have sent a joint letter to President Obama and Congress asking for changes in the way governments collect personal data through the web. Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, and AOL all believe that the bulk collection methods used today have gone too far. Referencing details that were exposed by Edward Snowden earlier this year, the companies said, "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." The companies want governments to target individuals rather than everyone, and suggest that consumers and businesses alike will not use technology they don't trust. "Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it," said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. Microsoft recently said that it would increase the encryption it uses in an attempt to prevent government snooping. In the letter, the companies suggest five principles of reform, including the use of an independent way to oversee national security and more freedom to offer details about government record requests publicly.
Facebook to Make Its Instant Articles Compatible with Google, Apple Formats
Facebook wants content to be more readable across the web and took steps this week toward that goal by tweaking the SDK for its Instant Articles. Facebook's Instant Articles give publishers a way to streamline content for consumption on mobile devices, but Instant Articles aren't compatible with the mobile-first styles used by Google and Apple.
Google Uses Machine Learning to Tweak Sheets
Google today rolled out new features for its Sheets spreadsheet application. Most of the new features target the desktop-based version of Sheets.
Apple Debuts HomePod, Its Competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo
Apple today announced the HomePod, a new in-home speaker similar to the Google Home and Amazon Echo. It features the Siri voice-based assistant and can act on spoken requests with a focus on music.
Microsoft Boosts OneDrive, Outlook.com Security
Microsoft today revealed it has taken steps to further protect user data by encrypting some of its key services. Moving forward, Microsoft's Outlook.com email service is protected by Transport Layer Security encryption for both inbound and outbound mail.
I call BS...
Everyone of these companies has helped the government get access to our data 9 ways to sunday, employees for each of them directly assisted the government in multiple ways and yet they can still half-truthfully say "we never gave them Direct Access".
Well what about indirect access thru your API, like to all the other customers you sell my info to? How about access to internal dev tools that arent available through your API?
We only know these facts, and the corps are only "protesting", because Snowden told us they were listening.
How Noble of these companies to stand up for my rights, Im sure its not because...
Those companies make most of their money by collecting that data and if they have it the government has it (being plugged deep into the actual lines being used).
This is an obvious attempt to get yokels to go "hey these nice companies are gonna stop that nasty stuff they been talking about on the news" - and it'll probably work.
Now it'll be another 6-12 months until another whistleblower gets threatened with execution for bringing up the elephant in the server room again.
But hey I would rather have them have all my information then the government. At least I know they just want to give me ads. Who know what the gov't wants to do with...
Apple, Google, Microsoft all agree
Love the hypocrisy ...
Internet companies complaining about online surveillance of user behavior and data mining .... love the hypocrisy.
So……they’ll go silent, when they get paid for the transfer of data to governments.
Do internet corporations respect privacy? C’mon, really.