The tech titans have come together for once to make a stand against US surveillance laws:
In their most concerted response yet to disclosures by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL have published an open letter to Barack Obama and Congress on Monday, throwing their weight behind radical reforms already proposed by Washington politicians.
Silicon Valley and Congress are also lining up on this issue:
Crucially, Silicon Valley and these key reformers in Congress now agree the NSA should no longer be allowed to indiscriminately gather vast quantities of data from individuals it does not have cause to suspect of terrorism in order to detect patterns or in case it is needed in future.
The open letter to President Obama begins:
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.
Edit 2:30 AM: There’s an amassed effort on behalf of the world’s leading authors (and artists) to make a stand against US surveillance policies. See additional article here: State surveillance of personal data is theft, say world’s leading authors. It’s great to see the media titans, popular writers, nobel prize winners all taking a stand against these policies and pushing for reform. But are more grassroots, bottom-up movements needed from the commons? What say you?