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Government snoops have met their match: Tech giants fight for freedom

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Citizen privacy and freedom now intersect with tech corporate business interests to produce a powerful force against abusive government policies and deficient laws.

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According to a story by The Guardian, “Apple, Google, Microsoft and more demand sweeping changes to US surveillance laws.”

To be clear about the situation, consider this list of questions about “freedom under attack in America”:

1. Who are the victims?

2. Who are the abusers?

3. What can be done about it?

(See the annotated list)

Journalists who reported this story are among the “freedom fighters” so it is they are featured here in the picture post: Don Roberts and Jemima Kiss.

“Washington Bureau chief
Dan Roberts is the Guardian's Washington Bureau chief, covering politics and US national affairs. Previously, he worked as the national editor in London and was head of business

Head of technology
Jemima Kiss joined the Guardian in 2006 and covers big tech businesses, startups and technology trends. She is a permanent fixture on the Tech Weekly podcast and sits on the British Journalism Review editorial board. A proud graduate of Dartington College of Arts, Jemima has covered technology and media online since 2002.”

The Guardian

According to their report, industry tech media giants believe that reforms in the law are required to “restore the public’s trust in the internet.” Surveillance, as many believe, has exploited freedom and makes innocent citizens victims of abusive government power.

Since “We the People” are supposed to be in charge here, how can this abuse happen? Did it happen because Congress enacted abusive legislation that was approved by the President? Did it happen because the Court turned a blind eye? Did it happen because the executive branch is out of control? Did it happen because hidden forces inside government have exceeded their authority?

Without these corporate giants aligning to pressure government, how does one citizen confront the alleged abuses about which we know little? Abusive power of government is brought to light by journalists reporting the story. Again and again, the best reporting is coming from The Guardian, a bold force in journalism now operating in the Nation’s capital.

“AOL, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and LinkedIn to call for reforms to restore the public's trust in the internet

Dan Roberts in Washington and Jemima Kiss in London, Monday 9 December 2013 05.26 EST

AOL, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and LinkedIn say: 'The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual'

The world's leading technology companies have united to demand sweeping changes to US surveillance laws, urging an international ban on bulk collection of data to help preserve the public's “trust in the internet”.

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 will publish an open letter to Barack Obama and Congress on Monday, throwing their weight behind radical reforms already proposed by Washington politicians.

“The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual – rights that are enshrined in our constitution,” urges the letter signed by the eight US-based internet giants. “This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for change.””



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