Microsoft, Google and others ask lawmakers to reform NSA data collection efforts

Microsoft has teamed up with some of its biggest rivals to try to get the U.S. government to help reform the data collection efforts of the National Security Agency. The Washington Post reports that Microsoft, along with Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo!, sent a letter to several members of the U.S. Congress on Thursday on this topic.

The letter itself said that while more transparency on how the NSA collects its information is needed, it added that the six companies "... believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs."

This newest development in the NSA data spying scandal shows how much Microsoft and other tech companies want to distance themselves from this matter. When the story first broke earlier this year, Microsoft denied it had any direct involvement with the NSA program called PRISM, stating that it only provides customer data when it gets "a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis." The company has since filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in an effort to reveal more information on the types of data collection requests it receives.

Source: Washington Post
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13 Comments

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The NSA is a criminal organization that has no respect or regard for the country and laws they weakly claim to protect. They have been illegally spying on people since their inception...it's just much easier now to stockpile information for everyone on the planet that uses technology, so when it's time to focus on you or whoever, they pull up your digital life and know more about you than you do.

Tell you what, I'll take my chances, let me be less safe OK? Trust is gone, long gone. No one with half a brain will ever believe their communications or data are in any way private.

So of course these companies are crying foul, but if we look just a little bit deeper, you realize they've known all along. They've already been caught numerous times lying to our faces. Google and MS in particular have more than a few ties to this sort of thing and a long history of helping it right along.

I think we owe a big apology to conspiracy theorists, scratch that, conspiracy realists, for telling us all along this was happening.

Why are Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo bitching about what they got themselves into now? They didn't have to sign up for anything, they knew what the got themselves into they basically shot themselves in the foot. Exactly what did they think was going to happen when they signed themselves over to the Government to be over viewed? What promises did they think they made or were promised they were going to get?

shadodemon said,
Why are Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo bitching about what they got themselves into now? They didn't have to sign up for anything, they knew what the got themselves into they basically shot themselves in the foot. Exactly what did they think was going to happen when they signed themselves over to the Government to be over viewed? What promises did they think they made or were promised they were going to get?

What? You think they were given a choice?

Even if they said no, look at what the NSA did in the recently leaked Snowden docs... THey're intercepting Google and Yahoo data without permission.

shadodemon said,
Why are Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo bitching about what they got themselves into now? They didn't have to sign up for anything, they knew what the got themselves into they basically shot themselves in the foot. Exactly what did they think was going to happen when they signed themselves over to the Government to be over viewed? What promises did they think they made or were promised they were going to get?

What are you on about?
Care to explain yourself a bit more clear?
I don't think any of these companies signed up for anything, it's just the US government showing up at their doorstep asking for into, or just try to steal it without asking.
Makes sense these companies want to clear there names

You're very naive to think these companies had a choice in whether or not to give data to the NSA. The NSA demanded, not asked.

Not shocking at all.

If these companies are really not working with the NSA voluntarily, then of course they would be very tired of taking all the hits for the actions of the NSA that these companies have been forced to comply with.

If I was running one of these companies, I would be livid over the fact that the government is hanging my company out to dry, as if they had no responsibility in the matter.

Not to mention that they have to fulfill the information requests on their own dime. It's an expense that they would like to reduce as much as possible.