Most Big Internet Companies Speak Out For Major Surveillance Reform
from the about-time dept
Basically all of the largest internet companies -- with the exception of Amazon
- Limiting Governments' Authority to Collect Users' Information
- Increase Oversight and Accountability (such as by making FISA an adversarial process)
- Transparency About Government Demands
- Respecting the Free Flow of Information
- Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments
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 favor 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.Some will, undoubtedly, argue that this is all just noise for the sake of public perception, but compare what these companies are doing to the major telco companies, which not only have refused to comment on all of this, but have actively fought efforts by their own shareholders to make them just slightly more transparent (up to the level many internet companies were even before the Snowden leaks).
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.
The question, now, is how much effort these companies will really put into getting Congress to change the laws. There are a number of different bills in Congress. Having the tech companies assist the efforts for real reform would certainly be helpful.