Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NATIONAL SECURITY - Tech Giants Call, Update

"Tech giants call for tighter limits on government surveillance" PBS Newshour 12/9/2013


JUDY WOODRUFF (Newshour):  The giants of the tech industry made a highly public appeal today to rein in government surveillance.  It came in the form of an open letter to President Obama.

The call for curbs focused on people's personal information being collected from online traffic.  Eight major companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, banded together to write an open letter to the president and Congress.  It appeared in full-page newspaper ads and online.

The letter read in part:  "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor 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 the tech giants' latest bid to salvage public trust, amid revelations that they have had to provide users' data to the government.  The details come from Edward Snowden, who leaked a trove of material from the National Security Agency last summer.  Intelligence officials maintain the data collection operation has thwarted a number of terror attacks.

A presidential advisory panel has been reviewing the issue.  Its findings could come this week.

We hear now from the tech world.  Brad Smith is the general counsel and an executive vice president of Microsoft.  He's also speaking on behalf of the companies that signed today's letter.

As I've said before, I consider Edward Snowden a traitor.  Also, using the internet has NEVER been private, any more than holding a conversation in the middle of Central Park can be considered private.

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