Unwittingly, Americans are consenting to being watched by their government who only wants to keep them safe.
Executives from Zynga, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Comcast, Twitter, AT&T, Netflix and Google met with President Obama to discuss the spying programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) and how to “aggressively” revamp how the federal government watches over its citizens.
Anonymous sources told the media Obama appeared to agree with the idea of allowing tech corporations to have access to and disclosure of government surveillance programs and activity.
In order to protect customer privacy, the executives argued that they would have “to build data centers in each country” which is not financially feasible.
Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, AOL and Twitter are banding together to form the Global Government Surveillance Reform (GGSR) to promote the limitation of federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies to collect user information under the guise of terrorism.
The GGSR has taken it upon themselves to point out that “current laws and practices need to be reformed”; a point we all are aware of.
In an open letter to Obama and Congress, the GGSR said: “This summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individualrights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for change.”
Principles the GGSR want to make clear for the federal government is:
- Limitation on government authority to collect user information
- Subject executive orders to checks and balances by independent processes
- Make court rulings public on allowances of government surveillance
- Divulge all surveillance programs to the American public
- Allow the free flow of information
- Do not use government surveillance to cause conflicts with friendly nations
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer for Facebook remarked : “Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information. The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”
In a US District court, Judge Richard Leon recently ruled that the NSA surveillance and spying programs are unconstitutional.
Leon wrote in his opinion: “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary’ invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke out about Leon’s decision.
Reid said: “We know that senators, both Democrats and Republicans, would like to change the law that relates to some of the collection activities. And I think that’s good, I think we need a good, public debate on this.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein told the media : “If people really want us to shove aside a potential method of protection, and the court says it is not constitutional, that does it. That’s the end. None of us will defy the constitutionality issue.”
Feinstein maintains that these surveillance programs “helps [to] keep this nation safe.”