Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Business Intelligence Sales & Marketing More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Wireless Security
Fiercely productive scanners
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Tech Giants Publish Open Letter Seeking Surveillance Limits
Tech Giants Publish Open Letter Seeking Surveillance Limits

By Jennifer LeClaire
December 9, 2013 10:58AM

Bookmark and Share
"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," said the letter to President Obama and Congress. "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual."
 


Some of the biggest names in Internet technology have penned an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress, warning that the National Security Agency's moves are harming public trust in the Internet.

"People won't use technology they don't trust," said Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft. "Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it."

Microsoft, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo signed the letter, which urges the U.S. to take the lead and make reforms that ensure government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent, and subject to independent oversight.

"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 letter said. "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."

Five Principles

The companies went on to say that, for their part, they 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.

"The security of users' data is critical, which is why we've invested so much in encryption and fight for transparency around government requests for information," said Google CEO Larry Page. "This is undermined by the apparent wholesale collection of data, in secret and without independent oversight, by many governments around the world. It's time for reform and we urge the U.S. government to lead the way."

Five principles are suggested to the president and Congress: (1) limiting government's authority to collect users' information; (2) oversight and accountability; (3) transparency about government demands; (4) respecting the free flow of information; and (5) avoiding conflicts among governments.

"Twitter is committed to defending and protecting the voice of our users," said Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter. "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."

Staying True to Civil Liberties

We caught up with Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a senior staff technologist for the Center for Democracy & Technology, to get his thoughts on the open letter. He told us it's a significant development in the larger story.

"It also seems to endorse a lot of the principles in the leading bill out there, the USA Freedom Act. Ultimately this has to be boiled down to legislation of some sort," Hall said. "The U.S. isn't the only country doing these things, we just happen to be doing it at unprecedented scale and are the best at it."

As Hall sees it, the letter goes much farther than any individual organization or corporation has gone in calling for reform. He called it "amazing" how far the group of technology companies has gone, such as asking for judicial authorization for surveillance of foreigners.

"That's a pretty big ask," he said "But in order to stay true to our commitments to civil liberties and privacy we have to stop thinking of foreigners not having rights. That doesn't work on the Internet."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Cry Wolf:

Posted: 2013-12-09 @ 2:41pm PT
"People won't use technology they don't trust". So what will people do when the Edward Snowden of the tech companies will reveal how intense their tracking is? Quite hypocritical to suggest principles to limit government surveillance while their own tracking and surveillance goes on unfettered.



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Wireless Security
1.   NSC Backs Disclosing Vulnerabilities
2.   McAfee Tool To Stop the Heartbleed
3.   How, Why Heartbleed Got Its Name
4.   Is Heartbleed the Biggest Threat Ever?
5.   States Probing Massive Data Breach


advertisement
McAfee Tool To Stop the Heartbleed
Firm offering it free to users.
Average Rating:
Is Heartbleed the Biggest Threat Ever?
Widespread extent puts millions at risk.
Average Rating:
States Probing Massive Data Breach
Credit giant Experian in the hot seat.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 
Canadian Teen Arrested for Heartbleed Hack
One week after the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability was unveiled, Canadian authorities have made the first arrest -- a London, Ontario teenager -- connected to exploiting the security hole.
 
IBM Offers Security, Disaster Recovery as SoftLayer Service
New disaster recovery and security services for SoftLayer clients are being added by IBM. Big Blue said the new capabilities will speed cloud adoption by alleviating concern over business continuity.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Releases Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android
You're out on a sales call, and use your Android mobile device to grab a file you have back at the office on your desktop. That's a bit easier now with Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
 
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Contact Centers | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.