Microsoft and Facebook lobby against NSA in April-June, Google/Yahoo stay quiet

Over the past few weeks, the NSA has come under fire for its domestic spying operations and because of this, many tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others, have been in the spotlight for their cooperation with the agency to aid such activities.

Released earlier today, was a report for the major tech companies that outlined their lobbying efforts for the previous quarter. You would think that the NSA related activities would be a huge part of the lobbying efforts by theses companies to help protect their image but despite petitions to release more information about their cooperation with the NSA, only Microsoft and Facebook mentioned these laws as part of their quarterly report.

The majority of the money, which totaled 8 million for Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook, was targeted at immigration reform and cyber security. Those who are familiar with the lobbying efforts by these companies stated that the silence by these corporations highlights the sensitivity of this surveillance program.

Considering that Microsoft has been fighting back against the public perception that the company was providing an open back-door policy to its information, you would have thought that they would have been more proactive in trying to persuade congress to allow them to be more transparent in there operations to save public face.

We will have to wait and see what the next quarter report bring in terms of lobbying efforts, to determine if the companies really are holding back, or if the information broke late in the quarter and they didn't have time to adjust their lobbying efforts.

Source: Politico Top Secret image via Shutterstock

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40 Comments

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That's failed logic all around. It assumes the premise that these unsupported accusations are true, assumes that this lobbying is related to that questionable premise, and finally concludes that not being involved in that somehow proves complacency with the first premise.

Hang on. Wasn't it less than a year ago that people here were complaining that these companies lobbied at all?

Just consider the Internet Public Domain. If you put illegal or terroristic **** in the public domain, expect to have issues.

Microsoft is trying to obfuscate/distract from the fact that it was the first to join PRISM in 2009 and according to Snowden offers blanket server access to the NSA.

source? Only 2 sites I found about this subject had no source on their own too.

Plus I'm sure they don't need the company to comply and use a few 0-days and are able to access it anyhow.

Shadowzz said,
source? Only 2 sites I found about this subject had no source on their own too.

Plus I'm sure they don't need the company to comply and use a few 0-days and are able to access it anyhow.

One does not simply walk in MS datacenters. Its firewalls are guarded by more than just engineers. There is DB admins there that does not sleep... and the Great Bill is ever watchful.

This will all be in vain... yes I said it... We Americans, we come on forums,social media, talk shows, etc to complain... But we never do anything about it.

We don't use our right to IMPEACH.... If we can make an example out of 1 person... Our point will be made... No matter if it's a 1st Selectman all the way up to the POTUS....

We need to let them know that they work for us...

Showan said,
This will all be in vain... yes I said it... We Americans, we come on forums,social media, talk shows, etc to complain... But we never do anything about it.

We don't use our right to IMPEACH.... If we can make an example out of 1 person... Our point will be made... No matter if it's a 1st Selectman all the way up to the POTUS....

We need to let them know that they work for us...

impeaching doesn't do crap, jus because you are impeached doesn't mean you have to leave office or change anything really... look at Clinton he was impeached, but wasn't removed from office due to not getting a 2/3rds vote for it

Since when do we have an actual right to impeach?

In order to even start the impeachment process there has to be a majority vote from the House of Representatives.

If you protest now, its hypocrite and late.

Most people didn't give a damn 10+ years ago when half the internet was loudly screaming "PRIVACY IS GONE, THEY TRACK OUR EVERY MOVE"

And now, Obama is losing its public view, has issues and doesn't stand strong on his presidential throne. And out of 'nowhere' this anti-government media circus started.
And the whole world is crying on how AMERICA is doing this.

Hate to tell you all, but Interpol does the same, every European country their own secret service does this too.
My home country is world record holder phone taps. Even the amount of phone taps alone rivals the total number of phone taps in the US, only difference is.... We have 17million people, you have 340million.

But that the entire internet is being cloned and monitored has been known for a loooooong time.

Shadowzz said,
If you protest now, its hypocrite and late.

Most people didn't give a damn 10+ years ago when half the internet was loudly screaming "PRIVACY IS GONE, THEY TRACK OUR EVERY MOVE"

And now, Obama is losing its public view, has issues and doesn't stand strong on his presidential throne. And out of 'nowhere' this anti-government media circus started.
And the whole world is crying on how AMERICA is doing this.

Hate to tell you all, but Interpol does the same, every European country their own secret service does this too.
My home country is world record holder phone taps. Even the amount of phone taps alone rivals the total number of phone taps in the US, only difference is.... We have 17million people, you have 340million.

But that the entire internet is being cloned and monitored has been known for a loooooong time.


Internet was 1/20 the size back then as it is now.

AWilliams87 said,

Internet was 1/20 the size back then as it is now.

And? Its not like they stopped warning.

Point is, we've been warned, and people ignored it for the last 10+ years, but all of a sudden its the biggest issue.

[quote=Shadowzz said,]
And? Its not like they stopped warning.

Point is, we've been warned, and people ignored it for the last 10+ years, but all of a sudden its the biggest issue.[/quote"]

"We" have been warned lol? I was a child 10+ years ago. It's no really feasible to view everyone as one collective entity.

You are here as a tech enthusiast no?
And you have been completely oblivious to any governmental big brother watching on the internet until Snowden?

Shadowzz said,
You are here as a tech enthusiast no?
And you have been completely oblivious to any governmental big brother watching on the internet until Snowden?

Certainly I was 10+ years ago.

No it makes it seem that the NSa holding them to ransom, if they say anything, their reputation gets damaged which affects customers.

This is all BS anyway, people must be stupid if they thought there's any privacy left (with the use of technology)

There is plenty of privacy left on the internet.
This PRISM BS is known for years. And they cant take my privacy when I don't give em.
AFAIK Facebook/Google still don't know my real name, my address and what not. I'm sure they can find it out if they put effort into it. But this needs effort, just like a non-internet company can figure out who I am and where I live. Or any random dude on the street.

Want to track me on my phone, take pictures or listen in... Good luck. I often don't take my phone anywhere and if I do, its 99% of the time in my pocket, so goodluck taking pictures or listening in.
And knowing my location, they don't need access to my phone for that, geotracking on phone's has been done ever since there have been cell phone towers and enough towers to implement the 3point system.

Shahrad said,
No it makes it seem that the NSa holding them to ransom, if they say anything, their reputation gets damaged which affects customers.

This is all BS anyway, people must be stupid if they thought there's any privacy left (with the use of technology)


The biggest stupidity is the arbitrary agenda behind every opinion.

People whine about privacy but refuse to define it. I can't help wondering if people don't like defining the words they use because a definition is an opening for people to disagree with them.

Shadowzz said,
So they are going to personally encrypt data on Google drive...

Kinda like how the Skydrive encryption uses your password as a key/salt.

Yeah BRO! Microawesome don't Scroogle nobody!

funkydude said,

Would love a big red button that disconnects morons from the internet.


The internet will soon be very empty and boring
I can always enjoy the randominity of the internets.

funkydude said,

Would love a big red button that disconnects morons from the internet.

Careful... how would you check your email again?

Kalint said,

Careful... how would you check your email again?

In other words, "I know you are but what am I?". The first class responses of children, congrats.

funkydude said,

In other words, "I know you are but what am I?". The first class responses of children, congrats.

HNNNGGGG!

Shadowzz said,
So they are going to personally encrypt data on Google drive...

Kinda like how the Skydrive encryption uses your password as a key/salt.

Where did you find the information that uploaded files on skydrive are encrypted? Unless I missed something they seem to be just as unencrypted as on GDrive.

So, let me get this straight...Google, MS, Yahoo, and FB put forth 8 million to lobby against the NSA. But only MS and FB mention it in their lobbing reports? (according to source Politico)

Title makes it seem like Google or Yahoo doesnt care and didnt put forth any money.

Unless I am missing something here.

Brad Sams is using misleading logical connections to tell a lie. Just because Google and Yahoo stayed quiet from April to June doesn't mean they aren't against it, bro. Maybe they lobby extensively more last year than Microsoft did. Maybe they came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth pouring money to lobby against laws which had little chances of changing.

AWilliams87 said,
Brad Sams is using misleading logical connections to tell a lie. Just because Google and Yahoo stayed quiet from April to June doesn't mean they aren't against it, bro. Maybe they lobby extensively more last year than Microsoft did. Maybe they came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth pouring money to lobby against laws which had little chances of changing.

Can you think of a better way to get hits on Neowin? Brad's got the formula down.

Look at it differently, if they would care about this subject, they wouldnt've stayed quiet.

And Google specially shouldn't stay quiet when Microsoft is responding.
Microsoft has little to gain in this conspiracy NSA PRISM stuff.
Google drags its entire income from people's information and risk losing it all (or a large part of it)
If people stop using Microsoft's online services it will hurt MS but it wont really damage MS.

What if people stop using Google services? No google.com, no gmail, no youtube. None of their online PRISM services..... Bye Bye Google.

Did you read the title? It's clearly for April-June, they did not lobby against the laws during these periods according to the lobbying reports they have to produce.

I did not say Google/Yahoo never ever, in the entire history of lobbying, tossed money against the NSA, stop making crap up to fit your agenda.

bdsams said,
Did you read the title? It's clearly for April-June, they did not lobby against the laws during these periods according to the lobbying reports they have to produce.

I did not say Google/Yahoo never ever, in the entire history of lobbying, tossed money against the NSA, stop making crap up to fit your agenda.


You don't have to say so outwardly. But by your title and the wording of your story, you're implicitly trying to claim Microsoft cares more about stopping NSA spying than Google does. By not expressing this directly, it leaves you an avenue of deniability once someone like me called you out on it.

Anyone can understand the message you're saying here. There was no other reason to mention Google.

Shadowzz said,
Look at it differently, if they would care about this subject, they wouldnt've stayed quiet.

Google hasn't stayed quiet, they have already asked the government to reveal the number of requests and allow for greater transparency.

Perhaps it's time for you to check some facts before posting. Try google.