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Apple, Google, Microsoft Want Gov Surveillance Curtailed

Article Comments  14  

Dec 9, 2013, 8:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

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Dec 9, 2013, 4:11 PM

I call BS...

Everyone of these "statements" and "complaints" is carefully worded half-truth, and only that because they got caught.

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...
Yup, I'd fathom that everybody in the world who isn't receiving 100k in american dollars each year (i.e. being paid off) doesn't like US companies.
Yama Gama

Dec 9, 2013, 1:17 PM

Blatant face-play

Well well, the 8 giant companies probably most involved in the worldwide mass-collection of data are issuing a statement (gasp) asking the govt to please stop its use of such data.

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.
Its because they want to keep the information and not give it to the government.

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...

Dec 9, 2013, 9:28 AM

Apple, Google, Microsoft all agree

Apple, Google, Microsoft all agree on something 😳 😲 which I thought would never happen
They all agree that having their own data collection practices lumped in with those of an increasingly corrupt and power hungry government is a bad thing; they don’t care about you, just your perception of them.

Dec 9, 2013, 9:18 AM

Love the hypocrisy ...

I love it.

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.
Well, better one of these folks than the Govt. I'm not saying that either is a good thing, but at least Google/Apple/Microsoft/etc. don't really care if you smoke weed or not, nor chase you for political beliefs, which they can find out by your inter...
Data mining to serve targeted ads and data mining to eliminate opposition to the current power system are rather different things.
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