Eight top technology firms in the US are calling for the surveillance laws in that country to be changed. This comes after recent revelations regarding the USA’s National Security Agency’s data collection tactics.
The National Security Agency is collecting Internet records of millions of people in the United States and across the world and because of this, foremost technology companies are calling for far-reaching changes to US surveillance laws, a recent report says.
British newspaper The Guardian, reported that AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo will publish an open letter to Barack Obama and Congress, heavily criticizing the current legislation and that they argue it has hurt public’s “trust” and their business.
“The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour 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 change,” the letter signed by the eight US-based Internet Giants urges.
The demand by the companies comes only six months after disclosures by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that the agency is spying on almost everybody within the United States. They blame American intelligence agencies for the resulting threat to their businesses, according to the report. The companies also argue that the spying scandals have shaken public faith in the Internet. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel said, “People won’t use technology they don’t trust…Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”
Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, said, “Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world,”
The American companies also want to be allowed to disclose how often surveillance requests are made, the report has noted. The spying scandal involving the NSA broke in early June when it was reported that the spy agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of American citizens. Since then, various files revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden have suggested that the agency is also spying on foreign nationals living in the United States as well as many political leaders and the general public throughout the earth.
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