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Apple, Facebook, other corporations publish Reset the Net letter

updated 03:09 pm EDT, Thu June 5, 2014

Asks for limits to government surveillance

Several US technology executives -- including Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Larry Page, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer -- have published an open letter as a part of the Reset the Net anti-surveillance campaign. The letter complains that the USA Freedom Act -- which recently passed through the House of Representatives -- still permits bulk collection of Internet metadata, despite promises by the White House and Congress to halt the practice. The executives are also asking for the flexibility to publish more detail about the quantity and types of government requests they get for customer information.

"Confidence in the Internet, both in the U.S. and internationally, has been badly damaged over the last year. It is time for action," the letter states.

Metadata represents the details surrounding communication, such as email addresses and send dates, rather than actual content. It can however potentially be more revealing about a person, since it helps identify patterns of behavior and interpersonal relationships.

The companies mentioned in the letter have all had to cope with public scrutiny and/or criticism for their involvement -- willing or unwilling -- in domestic and international data spying by the National Security Agency. Aside from the executives mentioned above, other names on the letter include Twitter's Dick Costolo, Dropbox's Drew Houston, and LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    I'm willing to wager there are not too many things you could get Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Dropbox, and Linkedin to all vocally agree on.

    I also notice that there's not a single ISP or telecom mentioned in that list--wonder why Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T aren't complaining? Guess you don't have so much of a problem when you're getting paid for customer data, and your customers hate you anyway.

    One also has to wonder if the monopoly position they've been handed, along with the anti-net neutrality legislation and maybe even some of the anti-municipal-competition legislation the big telcos have been gifted with aren't kickbacks in exchange for willingly opening up their networks to the NSA and FBI and not making a stink about legislation like this.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Makosuke, read this:

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