Tech giants address Obama and internet spying in open letter
The world’s top tech companies have united to create the Global Government Surveillance Reform movement, in an attempt to counter the recent surge in internet surveillance that has dogged headlines all over the world over the past year. The open letter, addressed to President Obama and members of Congress, highlights several principles that the tech companies feel need to be pushed: limiting governments’ authority to collect users’ information; oversight and accountability; transparency about government demands; respecting the free flow of information; and avoiding conflicts among governments. The tech giants have also been pushing the NSA to allow them to reveal more information about the user data requests they make, but so far have faced resistance and are only permitted to release broad numbers. “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,” reads the letter.
It has been recently revealed that the government is intercepting information as it flows from one data center to the other (for example, between Google and Yahoo), which has led these companies to boost their encryption technologies.