Eight top Internet companies have called on the NSA to curtail the bulk collection of data.
Dan Roberts and Jemima Kiss, The Guardian:
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 [Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) ].Some of the points made by the letter
“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.”
Several of the companies claim the revelations have shaken public faith in the internet and blamed spy agencies for the resulting threat to their business interests. “People won’t use technology they don’t trust,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel.
* Eliminate bulk data collection. Use targeted collection.
* Intelligence agencies should operate under a genuine legal framework, not the current sham court.
* An international legal framework is necessary for cross-border operations.
Statements defending Internet privacy come from:
—Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL
—Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
—Larry Page, CEO, Google
—Erika Rottenberg, General Counsel, LinkedIn
—Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
—Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
—Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo
Bulk collection would probably include the 5 billion cellphone location records the NSA collects daily. Even assuming a typical user transits 20 cell phone towers daily, that's several hundred million people it's tracking.
UPDATE: As Bob Swern notes in comments, Edward Wyatt and Claire Cain Millerof the NYT have an article similar to The Guardian's. What's usually more interesting than the content of a NYT story is to see how it frames a story. In this case, the framing is the companies are "scrambling to repair the damage to their reputations," and that this letter "The political push by the technology companies opens a third front in their battle against government surveillance, "It characterizes the political ramifications as "billionaire founders and executives are highly sought as political donors"
Apparently posters are confused by the fact that the data that the techs collect is identical to what the government collects. Guys, of course it's the same. E-mail is e-mail, IPs are IPs, etc.