Tech companies seek limits on government surveillance
December 9th, 2013
07:21 AM ET

Tech companies seek limits on government surveillance

By Evan Perez

Some U.S. technology giants are asking the Obama administration and Congress to rein in government surveillance.

Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are among the companies signing an open letter arguing that surveillance has gone too far. The companies say they're improving encryption and fighting to limit surveillance requests, but they're also asking for new legal changes to limit surveillance.

This comes after recent revelations from documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. His leaks have lifted the veil on the agency's vast surveillance databases, many of which are part of programs with intelligence agencies in other countries. The aim, the NSA and other agencies say, is to prevent terrorism and protect security.

In their joint letter, the companies say they understand that "governments have a duty to protect their citizens." But, they say: "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 change."

The law requires tech companies to cooperate with court-ordered surveillance programs, and the NSA is known to use other means to snoop on e-mail and other communications.

The companies are now seeing a backlash from customers. And in some cases, U.S. companies are seeing their businesses hurt in other countries, because they are viewed as working too closely with U.S. intelligence.

Microsoft's general counsel, Brad Smith, gave a nod to the effect the Snowden disclosures are having on the companies.

In a blog post, Smith said: "People won't use technology they don't trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it."

Post by:
Filed under: Edward Snowden • NSA
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. pharmaceptica.com

    does erectile dysfunction pills work https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  2. pharmaceptica.com

    does erectile dysfunction affect fertility https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 9:13 am | Reply
  3. Berry Bartow

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://middleschoolmatters.com/?pu003d273&paged=51

    June 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  4. Edith Buzzanca

    I don't know about you all but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/03/video-aviation-jobs-in-1947/

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2006/05/citizen-doll.html?m=0

    June 13, 2021 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  5. Chrystal Sonnen

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2008/07/48000ft-to-300000ft-in-90-seconds-for-only-200000/

    http://www.doc-txt.com/Boeing-Everett-Museum.pdf

    June 13, 2021 at 6:44 am | Reply
  6. Luciano Glidewell

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2006/06/pink-flamingoes.html?showComment=1150644300000&m=0

    June 12, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  7. Rolland Moehring

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 9, 2021 at 8:13 am | Reply
  8. where to buy aralen

    uso medical abbreviation chloroquine for malaria hydroxicloriquine

    June 7, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  9. tadalafil blood pressure

    tadalafil troche tadalafil daily online tadalafil

    June 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  10. Dorian Dworkin

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 7, 2021 at 8:47 am | Reply
  11. buy hydroxychloroquine online

    chloroquine phosphate vs chloroquine sulphate side effects for hydroxychloroquine chloroquine phosphate cvs

    June 7, 2021 at 8:40 am | Reply
  12. vidalista tadalafil reviews

    side effects of tadalafil tadalafil research tadalafil sublingual

    June 5, 2021 at 7:05 am | Reply
  13. Chin Cantara

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 4, 2021 at 10:04 am | Reply
  14. cialis tablets

    tadalafil daily online cialis 20mg tadalafil tablets ip

    June 3, 2021 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  15. Chassidy Cornelious

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://rumblingstrips.blogspot.com/2008/03/30-minutes.html

    June 3, 2021 at 12:02 am | Reply
  16. Mickey Ow

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2015/01/?m=0

    May 31, 2021 at 5:31 am | Reply
  17. Rosita Raysor

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-giroux-moment.html?m=0

    May 30, 2021 at 6:48 am | Reply
  18. Kathy Tait

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2007/02/ludic-spray.html?m=0

    May 29, 2021 at 5:57 am | Reply
  19. Buddy Quade

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2008/03/?m=0

    May 28, 2021 at 5:22 am | Reply
  20. Greryclilteta

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ buy tadalafil tadalafil dosage lowest price cialis side effects for tadalafil

    May 27, 2021 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  21. CleplePewCred

    https://tadalafilol.com/ tadalafil blood pressure https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – tadalafil where to buy cialis without prescription

    May 27, 2021 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  22. apposyattance

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ tadalafil cialis buy tadalis tadalafil daily online buy generic cialis online with mastercard

    May 27, 2021 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  23. combigan

    combigan side effects brimonidine tartrate 2%

    May 26, 2021 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  24. spearfDrore

    cheapest tadalafil cost https://cttadalafil.com/ – buy cialis pills tadalafil cialis tadalafil blood pressure https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  25. CleplePewCred

    https://tadalafilww.com/ tadalafil cost walmart https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – where to buy generic cialis online safely tadalafil cost in canada

    May 25, 2021 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  26. Greryclilteta

    tadalafil daily online tadalafil daily online tadalafil dosage where to buy tadalafil on line https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  27. apposyattance

    where to buy tadalafil on line https://cttadalafil.com/ buy tadalis buy tadalis cialis without prescription

    May 25, 2021 at 11:58 am | Reply
  28. CleplePewCred

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ side effects for tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/ – prescription tadalafil online prescription tadalafil online

    May 23, 2021 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  29. combigan

    brimonidine generic combigan cost

    May 23, 2021 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  30. Emanuel Baquero

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/05/imagination-wanted-mobile-devices-in.html?showComment=1451480446820

    May 23, 2021 at 4:36 am | Reply
  31. cyclomune

    buy cyclomune cyclosporine for humans

    May 21, 2021 at 6:27 am | Reply
  32. Clara Amble

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://virtualpolitik.blogspot.com/2007/06/she-blogger.html?m=0

    May 21, 2021 at 2:40 am | Reply
  33. Destiny Escorcia

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2006/01/paradigm-shift.html?showComment=1139179500000

    May 20, 2021 at 4:09 am | Reply
  34. Emery Faur

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/09/alaska-airlines-guarantees-your-bags-in-25-minutes-or-less/

    http://mastersprogrambest.blogspot.com/2013/09/national-security-masters-programs_20.html

    May 19, 2021 at 5:08 am | Reply
  35. Sylvie Elreda

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/05/buys-ads-on-overhead-bins-napkins-barfbags-lavatories-and-much-more/

    http://www.washingtonbids.us/washington-contractors/naics-712110-Museums.htm

    May 18, 2021 at 3:20 am | Reply
  36. Olen Kuszlyk

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2011/06/literacy-to-die-for-you-have-to-lulz.html?showComment=1308436271354

    May 17, 2021 at 8:13 am | Reply
  37. Sharron Kohlhoff

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/07/the-airline-blogs-1st-person-perspective-delta-atl-to-sea/

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/airlinereporter/2009/12/09/get-vip-seats-to-the-boeing-787-dreamliners-first-flight/

    May 16, 2021 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  38. Ian Chieffo

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 12, 2021 at 4:39 am | Reply
  39. Olin Deluney

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2013/05/unconvergence.html?m=0

    May 11, 2021 at 3:56 am | Reply
  40. dapoxetine

    buy priligy priligy pills usa

    May 8, 2021 at 5:23 am | Reply
  41. viagra without a doctor prescription in canada

    buy viagra from canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ pfizer viagra canada pharmistry

    May 2, 2021 at 9:22 am | Reply
  42. chloroquine hcl

    cloriquin https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine side effect

    April 30, 2021 at 11:37 am | Reply
  43. sildenafil cheap no prescription

    cheap sildenafil 100 https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ order sildenafil

    April 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  44. avanafil

    buy avana usa buy avana uk

    April 27, 2021 at 11:58 am | Reply
  45. vardenafil prices

    warnings for vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ self life of vardenafil

    April 25, 2021 at 12:55 am | Reply
  46. buy zithromax cheap

    zithromycin https://zithromaxes.com/ zirthomax

    April 17, 2021 at 1:01 am | Reply
  47. Sheryll Seargent

    I also believe that mesothelioma is a scarce form of most cancers that is commonly found in those previously exposed to asbestos. Cancerous cellular material form inside the mesothelium, which is a shielding lining that covers the majority of the body's body organs. These cells normally form from the lining in the lungs, stomach, or the sac which actually encircles one's heart. Thanks for revealing your ideas.

    https://extraproxies.com/whmcs-is-a-joke/

    April 15, 2021 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  48. how much alprostadil pellets cost

    how to get alprostadil injection https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil injection

    April 14, 2021 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  49. erectile dysfunction drugs

    does erectile disfunction affect mastarbation https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile implant surgery

    April 14, 2021 at 11:43 am | Reply
  50. tadalis sx

    tadalafil 40 mg daily https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil online

    April 11, 2021 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  51. Private Proxies Buy

    This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

    https://Dreamproxies.com/buy-proxies/5000-private-proxies

    April 8, 2021 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  52. Douglass Bartosiewicz

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually suppose this website wants far more consideration. I’ll in all probability be again to read rather more, thanks for that info.

    http://www.detrials.net

    February 23, 2021 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  53. Paddle App

    They want to be the only people that I have information on the clients they want to be able to sell their products are us and not have the government have that type of information

    June 10, 2017 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  54. allenwoll

    .
    Smokescreen !
    .
    One CAN NOT know whether he is being snooped.
    .
    Therefore, one CAN NOT know whether he is NOT being snooped.
    .
    Answer : Do NOT be "snoopworthy" in your activities !
    .

    December 12, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
  55. Mark K

    I wish the NSA would do one thing....find where the fraud and telemarketing scam calls are coming from so the authorities can arrest the originators. How many of us get these calls from numbers and companies that don't exist? Time to put good use to this spying thing... don't spy on us, spy FOR us.

    December 11, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • tee

      No way, man. That involves helping out the public.

      December 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  56. rodwick1@gmail.com

    Its too late for the American Tech giants. The trend has already started. Smart technology users are moving to European based technology companies where their personal communication rights will be protected at a level one would have previously expected to be enforced by the US government. Its a sad time when profit, power and fear rule a once proud nation.

    December 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  57. Joe Smith

    How come these same companies aren't saying anything about reducing the amount of data that THEY collect about us? I don't like anybody gathering data about me without my permission, neither the government nor private businesses.

    December 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  58. simplyput

    Simplyput no play facebook or any social media. Why worry?

    December 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  59. Seth A Drekin

    Don't know why people freak out about this stuff. Tech companies gather and store far more information about you than the government could ever dream of doing. You don't want to be tracked, ditch the iPhone.

    December 9, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • File52

      Healthcare? Your searches, credit card purchases of legal sin items like alcohol say not so fast...
      Getting a divorce? Your Google Searches will determine the court case
      Getting a job? Credit, DNA, Facebook and Google Searches
      You want to vote somebody to clean up government? They do NSA style research on to get him/her to drop out of the race.
      Your IPhone, license plate readers track how often you go to a bar, casino or other?
      Have kids? You think they he won't make a mistake online that you will pay for by keeping him your basement till you 80!

      Preserve the 4th amendment because your wallet and democracy depends on it.

      December 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Why are these tech companies going after the NSA. They are partners, it doesn't make sense.

      December 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  60. yippeeskip

    Oops, better watch what I say...

    December 9, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
  61. Logictox

    They aren't really spying, they are just watching what we do, what we surf for, where we go with cell data. You know the kind of things government needs to know about the public, it's for our own safety! Really it is!

    December 9, 2013 at 10:46 am | Reply
  62. guest

    It feels as though the gov't surveillance is effectively reducing the quality of service provided on the internet. Much traffic is going through these choke points.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
  63. Enough is Enough

    What's the big deal? When you expect the government to care for you from cradle to grave you have to expect them to exert their parental rights.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Volatility

      Watch this female MC flow about surveillance? search this video

      active member – kamera strammenh panw mou

      "The surveillance state is actually Google, Microsoft, Facebook et al. Without their vast troves of private customer records, the NSA would have nothing to look at."

      December 9, 2013 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • The REAL TRUTH...

      If that's the case.. why are you whining about it?

      December 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • Volatility

        Because she is upset. Sadahzinia – Στο χρώμα της στάχτης

        December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  64. PaulG

    All for the illusion of safety...

    December 9, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
  65. fiddecornell

    If people are worried about online privacy they can use services like https://motherpipe.com (search) and Adblocker(to prevent third party tracking) and HTTPS Everywhere (encrypted surfing). More stuff at https://prism-break.org/.

    December 9, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • Volatility

      Now you want us to use a 3rd party solution supported by the same coalition that has misused private information. wow

      December 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  66. Harold Richards

    Why are these tech companies throwing such a fit:
    – Obama said the NSA does not spy on US citizens
    – The head of the NSA said they did not spy on US citizens
    – The Obama Administration spent millions to setup the PRISM facility to monitor cellular and internet traffic (even though they can't make a working Obamacare website)
    – It is on record that they have been capturing data
    – They have been caught spying on the leaders of allied countries

    We need the NSA to be the envy of the KGB and for it to make Himmler proud. Forward!!!

    December 9, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.