Tech Rivals Unite to Nag World About Spying
Google, Microsoft lead charge
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 7:47 AM CST
This April 12, 2012, photo shows a Google logo on a window at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – What's big enough to bring together such competitors as Google and Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Twitter, plus AOL and LinkedIn for good measure? The NSA spying drama. Those companies are publicly asking the world's governments to limit such spying, and have detailed their ideas on a website, Reform Government Surveillance, as well as in an open letter to President Obama and Congress published as a full-page ad in national newspapers. It's the biggest push from the tech industry thus far, the New York Times reports, noting that the industry is fairly powerful in Washington. The group wants international changes, but expects the US to lead the way, the Guardian reports.

"The NSA mass-surveillance programs exist for a simple reason: cooperation with the tech and telecom companies," says an Electronic Frontier Foundation activist. "If the tech companies no longer want to cooperate, they have a lot of leverage to force significant reform." Today, they've outlined five "reform principles" to that end. Among them: They want governments to limit surveillance to specific users rather than performing sweeping data collection, for there to be limits on when Internet companies can be compelled to give up data, and for more oversight and transparency to be implemented. (See all five here.) The Obama administration has already called for a review of NSA procedures, and could get its results this week.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Dec 9, 2013 11:33 AM CST
The tech companies cooperate with the NSA because they all have things to hide and the NSA knows it. And won't hesitate to leverage the knowledge.
Dec 9, 2013 9:29 AM CST
Didnt Windows 8 just get banned from Germany because of the loophole it left for NSA in the coding? These guys are crying wolf while being a wolf in sheep's clothing. They are now playing clean-up crew to the mess they helped create.
Dec 9, 2013 8:18 AM CST
Nag? Really? As we day by day pull back the tarp off the machine that we increasingly find is sifting our entire electronic output, a letter of protest and request is "nagging?"