CEOs from massive tech companies like AOL, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google recently issued an open letter to the US Senate regarding the growing concerns about internet surveillance. Normally competitors, this unusual alliance agrees that change is needed and that the version of the USA Freedom Act that recently passed through the US House of Representatives needs some work.
These tech industry leaders pointed out how this act fails to prevent bulk collection of internet metadata, like who emailed you or called you. The group also stated how it’s important for their customers to know what type of user information the government is requesting from their organizations. The letter concluded with the execs suggesting that the government take steps towards restoring people’s faith in privacy on the internet.
It is in the best interest of the United States to resolve these issues. Confidence in the Internet, both in the U.S. and internationally, has been badly damaged over the last year. It is time for action. As the Senate takes up this important legislation, we urge you to ensure that U.S. surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent, and subject to independent oversight.
While not everyone completely agrees on this hot topic, here’s one guy’s take.