Tech Giants Press Governments on Surveillance

reformgovernmentsurveillanceLet’s here it for the tech giants. AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn (not really a giant but what the heck), Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo! sent an open letter to President Obama and Congress pushing for reform of policies with regards to surveillance of individuals and access to private communications and information.

All good public initiatives would be incomplete without the launch of a web site. has been given life and this is where you’ll find the 5 principles the tech giants believe are necessary to ensure individual rights are protected while government retains the tools it needs to keep citizens secure (I think we already have a document called the Constitution of the United States that covers these issues).

Below is the text of their open letter.

Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

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 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.

For our part, we 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.

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. To see the full set of principles we support, visit


AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo

Source: Ars Technica