Tech giants from all corners of the Internet world, including AOL, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and others, have banded together to fight the NSA surveillance. Sadly, even with this large alliance of technology companies sending an open letter to the Senate, the bill – dubbed the USA Freedom Act – did not pass in Congress with two votes shy of a majority.
This is the first time so many tech companies have come together to fight against NSA surveillance, obviously showing the hatred of the organization by tech companies, who were reportedly offering backdoor access to their servers for the NSA. Early reports leaked by Edward Snowden said that tech companies either give information to the NSA, or did not know that the NSA was backdooring the servers. Either way, tech companies were not holding user data in the highest regard, and have muddied the water.
Part of the USA Freedom Act includes the right for the government to make unwarranted searches, to find information. This has been used by the NSA to essentially create a mass surveillance system of all U.S. citizens.
The White House will push for the new USA Freedom Act changes to be re-introduced into Congress, but that will be next year, when a Republican majority leads Congress. They are much less likely to take the vote into account. It is also questionable how effective some of the new policies for net neutrality will be with the Republican government. It is part of the reason tech companies and The White House are pushing to have these new decisions made before the start of 2015.
The effects of the NSA surveillance have been widespread. Other countries are also involved in mass surveillance and actively work with the U.S. on new surveillance technology. Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and the U.S. are part of a secret group called the “Five Eyes Defeat”, a collective involved in mass surveillance and shared information.