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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.