Eight companies collaborate on an open letter to Washington
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, Aol, and LinkedIn have teamed up to call for global government surveillance reform. Rival companies and services are working together to put pressure on Washington to start the path towards reforming government surveillance and maintaining individual privacy.
“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,” says the open letter published on the site. “This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for change.”
The website lists five defining principles: “limiting government’s authority to collect users’ information, oversight and accountability, transparency about government demands, respecting the free flow of information, and avoiding conflicts among governments.”
The initiative has a good point—programs like NSA’s PRISM lack independent oversight. We don’t get to know where our information is going. Couple that with the fact that many of the affected companies have hordes of our personal information stored on their servers and it's a good thing that there's pushback.
Most of the companies listed as supporters have been directly targeted by PRISM and other government requests for information. Google and Twitter have been fighting back in small ways and this is likely just the start of a global move towards reforming the laws and practices that are just coming to light.
What do you think? Will this help force Congress to act? Tell us in the comments.