Tech Leaders Ask U.S. Government to Scale Back Surveillance Requests

By Shepard Ambellas | December 9, 2013 | 4:24pm EDT

The world’s biggest tech leaders have written an open letter to the Obama Administration asking them to scale back on surveillance 

A burglar opening a safe that is a computer screen(INTELLIHUB) — Google, Yahoo, Apple, AOL, Microsoft, Twitter, and Linkedin have now banned together sending an open letter to the U.S. Government in an effort to stifle NSA surveillance requests for user data.

Although the cooperate giants are posturing in efforts to make their users feel comfortable, rest assured their motive is profit. 

The open letter reads:

Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

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.

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. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com

Sincerely,

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo

Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo wrote, “Protecting the privacy of our users is incredibly important to Yahoo. 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. 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.”

Surprisingly Twitter stepped up to the plate as well. “Twitter is committed to defending and protecting the voice of our users. Unchecked, undisclosed government surveillance inhibits the free flow of information and restricts their voice. The principles we advance today would reform the current system to appropriately balance the needs of security and privacy while safeguarding the essential human right of free expression.” — Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter

While the mega corp’s might be out for themselves, some say all this may do some good for the American people. However overall, who can we really trust anymore?

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