NSA Spying and Tech Giants

Tech Giants Fight Back Against NSA Surveillance Program, Send Letter To Congress

A group of tech giants led by Google, Facebook and Apple, have sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to fully reform the NSA surveillance programs.

The tech giants sent the letter on Thursday and addressed it to the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter specifically endorses the USA Freedom Act which would end the NSA program that collects U.S. phone call records for millions of Americans and visitors to the country.

In the letter the group of tech firms writes:

“Our 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.”

The USA Freedom Act is a bipartisan bill lead by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

Other companies involved with the letter include AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

Another bill, created by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was approved this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee. That bill, passed on Thursday, aims to reform the NSA but allows most phone record collecting to remain.

Companies involved in stopping NSA spying on American citizens have largely placed their focus on search and seizure laws and the complete lack of formal processes used to obtain records.

The NSA is coming under even further fire this week after newly leaked Edward Snowden files showed that NSA officials were hacking Google and Yahoo links to gain unauthorized access to private data. Google has promised to further encrypt its servers and Yahoo has not yet announced any plans to fight back against the NSA’s unauthorized access to overseas records. The NSA uses an executive order issued under Ronald Reagan in 1981 to “legally” obtain overseas records.

Do you think America’s tech giants have the power needed to stop the NSA from spying on American citizens through their interest records?