” Today, there are full-page advertisements running in the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill. They all have the same message: big tech companies are calling on Congress to rein in the mass surveillance. You can read the full message on the newly-launched Reform Government Surveillance site.
This is a victory for users—with the companies taking a giant step forward in supporting their customers’ rights. The five basic principles they announced today include:
- Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information
- Oversight and Accountability
- Transparency About Government Demands
- Respecting the Free Flow of Information
- Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments
While these are all valuable, the first one particularly heartened us: “Governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications.” With these principles, the companies are joining digital citizens worldwide in demanding a stop to the unrestrained, mass surveillance of our digital lives.”
It’s about time . Don’t forget that these companies were very quick to roll over and give the government everything that it demanded as far as access to our personal data and while we commend them for their newfound love of privacy one can only wonder if this letter would have ever come about without the revelations from Edward Snowden being made public . For now color us cautiously optimistic regarding these corporations recently acquired respect for the fourth amendment .
It is also worth noting that there are no cell phone carriers/providers among the companies clamoring for renewed privacy laws and therein lies a major drawback to the entire effort to re-establish our right to protection from illegal search and seizure .
” But notably absent from the coalition are telecom companies, like Verizon and AT&T. These companies have long been considered the weak link when it comes to government access request. AT&T just announced that it would not respond to shareholder requests to be transparent about its relationship with the NSA.”
Just sayin’ …