Apple Joins Coalition of Technology Companies Formed to Demand More NSA Transparency
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other technology companies and liberties groups have formed an alliance which tomorrow will demand dramatically increased transparency of government surveillance efforts, reports AllThingsD.
In a letter to be published Thursday, the alliance — whose members include 63 companies, investors, non-profits and trade organizations — will call upon President Obama and congressional leaders to allow Internet, telephone, and Web-based service providers to report national security-related requests for information with greater specificity.
The companies want to regularly report:
• The number of government requests for information about their users
• The number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested
• The number of requests that sought communications content, basic subscriber information, and/or other information.
In addition, the coalition wants the government to issue its own transparency report that provides the same information on a total basis.
“Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations,” a copy of the letter obtained by AllThingsD reads. “We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government’s national security–related authorities. … Just as the United States has long been an innovator when it comes to the Internet and products and services that rely upon the Internet, so too should it be an innovator when it comes to creating mechanisms to ensure that government is transparent, accountable, and respectful of civil liberties and human rights.”
Some of the companies who are already part of the coalition include: AOL, Apple, Digg, Dropbox, Evoca, Facebook, Google, Heyzap, LinkedIn, Meetup, Microsoft, Mozilla, Reddit, salesforce.com, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, YouNow, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Public Knowledge, Reporters Without Borders, and The Wikimedia Foundation.