Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the US National Security Agency, has been releasing classified documents into the public domain to raise awareness on the privacy infringements that are occurring due to surveillance programs. The whistleblower fled the United States earlier this year and sought political asylum in Russia where he is currently residing.
These documents that specified a breach of privacy of US citizens, citizens of other countries and leaders and diplomats of other nations, have cause outcry across the globe.
Now, 8 of the largest technology companies in the world have come together to compose an open letter to the United States government urging them to find a way to mediate the breach of trust that is causing disdain towards the nation.
AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo have all made an appeal to President Barack Obama to become a leader in government transparency and to put an end to the excessive spying.
The NSA had breached many security protocols for a number of these websites and they had to increase encryption in light of this intrusion.
The open letter to the government addresses a number of pressing concerns with regards to this topic, however, the companies express their understanding for the need for surveillance and appreciate how it is all done in the interest of US citizens and residents alike.
It said, “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 favour 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.”
They addressed five main points that, in their view, are the most pressing. The letter said that they would like to see a limit on the amount of data that the government is permitted to collect from a user and would encourage increased transparency of government demands to protect the interests of the companies in other nations.
The United States Government have not made any response to these companies, although a widespread appreciation towards them is already being displayed by many in the global population.