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...
Network Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
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.


 Network Security
1.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
2.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security
3.   Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
4.   New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
5.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks


advertisement
Android SMS Worm on the Loose
Malware lets bad actors cash in.
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:


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

Network Security Spotlight
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
34 European Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
Criminals have been finding gaping holes in Android-based two-factor authentication systems that banks around the world are using. The result: 34 banks in four European countries have been hit.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

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

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.