Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, AOL and LinkedIn have joined forces to limit government surveillance. All the Tech Giant issued an open letter (http://reformgovernmentsurveillance.com/) to President Obama and members of Congress calling for reforms and regulations on government surveillance.
This letter is the consequence of NSA’s former contractor Edward Snowden (TIME’s number 2 Personality of the Year after Pope Francis) who revealed top secret information on the surveillance system thus revealing to the world the U.S government practise with users’ information. The first revelation concerned Verizon Wireless which had been giving all its customers’ phone records for years to the U.S government; and how some tech companies were giving away user’s data through PRISM, a surveillance program.
Snowden’s revelation had a huge impact on users’ confidence. Since then Tech Giants have attempted to regain this confidence by becoming much more transparent in regard to the NSA’s surveillance requests. This Reform Government Surveillance letter called for 5 changes: 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.
This open letter is a joined effort toward reforms: “We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. (…) 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 a change.”