Feeds

Oi, Obama. Rein your spooks in, demands web giants' alliance

Where the US leads, the world follows – or so tech's big dogs hope

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Eight web heavyweights have banded together to call on the US and other governments to rein in indiscriminate surveillance by state security agencies.

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo are asking for a general reform of government surveillance laws and practices because the "balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual”.

The tech firms said that their efforts to improve encryption and push back against overly broad snooping requests are not enough by themselves – and the US needs to take the lead in reforming surveillance practices.

In an open letter to US President Barack Obama and US Congress, the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition called for changes so that "surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight".

The tech firms' statement is couched in the high principles of protecting individual rights and freedoms in the wake of revelations about dragnet surveillance programmes by the US and UK, exposed by former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden.

It doesn't mention an issue closer to these US firms' balance sheets - revelations about snooping are making it far harder for companies based in the country to sell cloud-based services to enterprises and (to a lesser extent) consumers. Telecoms firms are conspicuous by their absence as signatories to the lobbying effort.

On a more positive note, Microsoft and Google have put aside their differences – remember Redmond is in the middle of an aggressive sledging "Scroogled" campaign to "raise awareness" of the various ways Google uses people's personal data to make money – to jointly call for a cap on government snooping. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.