from the yes,-but... dept
Finally, however, late on Friday, Amazon joined the party with its first ever Transparency Report (though it tries to cover up the fact that it's the first time it's ever done this by calling it the company's "bi-annual report.") In an accompanying blog post, however, the company plays up its privacy fighting bona fides -- something many privacy advocates had long questioned -- by highlighting that it "never participated in the NSA's PRISM program" and that it had challenged government subpoenas for information:
Where we need to act publicly to protect customers, we do. Amazon never participated in the NSA’s PRISM program. We have repeatedly challenged government subpoenas for customer information that we believed were overbroad, winning decisions that have helped to set the legal standards for protecting customer speech and privacy interests. We also advocate in Congress to modernize outdated privacy laws to require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant from a court to get the content of customer communications. That’s the appropriate standard, and it’s the standard we follow.That may be true, but it's also been true that Amazon has been noticeably absent from a variety of efforts to stop government surveillance -- including many that involve nearly every other big internet company. Hopefully this move, joining the rest of these companies in producing a transparency report, is a step towards being even more engaged on these issues as well. Given just how much infrastructure now runs on Amazon's web services platform, it needs to be a stronger champion for privacy and against unnecessary surveillance.