Huge tech firms have formed the Reform Government Surveillance group to demand changes to excessive surveillance by world governments. The group has published an open letter to President Obama and Congress:
Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,
We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But 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 individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.
For our part, we are focused on keeping users’ data secure — deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.
We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com
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Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee is dismissive of the call:
“So I start off by recognising that, in the modern world, the terrorists use all the technology available to them.
“It would be foolish for the intelligence agencies in free societies not to start by using that technology.
Isn’t there a contradiction there?
Amnesty International is to start legal action against the UK government through the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. While it’s quite clear that Amnesty is not involved in terrorism, that will be used as the justification since it is the normal BS justification.
I watched the 4th episode of The Revolution Will be Televised last night. First broadcast on 1st December, it’s very good.