Facebook
Name
Email
Phone
Message

Major Tech Companies Fight Big Government to Protect Data Privacy

Protect Data Privacy

Federal agencies routinely place requests for major technology companies to relinquish user data without a warrant. The technology companies believe that federal agencies have misused powers granted by the USA Patriot Act of 2001. Microsoft, Google, Facebook and seven other major tech companies wish to restrict government surveillance powers and restore public trust. Google has developed a webpage to report requests for user data. A group of the major technology companies formed a coalition in 2013, known as the Reform Government Surveillance coalition. The coalition signed a letter this week backing a bill titled, “The USA Freedom Act”.

A bill proposed by Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., proposed on October 29, 2013, known as the USA Freedom Act, challenges the authority of federal agencies to eavesdrop, monitor citizens online and would put an end to dragnet-style data gathering. The bill would allow Google and Facebook to issue public announcements concerning a governmental agency’s broad demand for user data. Prism, a program that “incidentally retains American’s Internet data,” would be limited by the bill.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, federal agencies site the Freedom of Information Act bestows the government the right to collect personal data without a warrant. The bill would increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. An independent constitutional advocate would be created to dispute FISC actions. Federal agencies would be required to ensure that requests for Internet data was related to an investigation concerning terrorism or espionage. The proposer of the bill does not wish to hamper the ability of federal agencies to gather information related to an investigation related to terrorism. The purpose of the bill is to protect the privacy of law abiding United States citizens. Federal agencies have a bill entitled, “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act,” that would allow the sharing of Internet traffic information.

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition’s goal to “promote the free flow of data across borders” is now supported by Ireland. Ireland has asked for assistance from the European Commission concerning requests from the United States for access to e-mail. The United States claims the e-mails involve drug trafficking. The Irish government fears the U.S. may bypass laws protecting data privacy to obtain access to the e-mails. A Magistrate judge ruled in favor of the federal agency; however, Microsoft has filed an appeal.


Photo courtesy of Cispa by Marie Augustine at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

Recommended Posts | IT News

Quantum Computers
2111

New Revelation in Quantum Computers

The computers in operation currently are digital computers. Digital computers utilize data encoded into binary bits utilizing 1's and 0's. Quantum computers store information in quantum states of subatomic particles. Cyber security experts must begin to prepare for the eventual implementation ...
HP acquired Voltage Security
1411

HP Acquires Voltage Security Boosting Cloud Security & Data Encryption

IT giant HP announced that it has acquired Voltage Security, which provides encryption and tokenization technology. The acquisition will bolster HP's already significant security solution portfolio and add to its Atalla security business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed ...
Are Macs Really Safer than PCs?
2787

Are Macs Really Safer than PCs?

The idiom that Macs are immune to viruses is something we have all heard. But is it true? Do Macs really have the ability to surf the same web as PCs, open the same files and perform the same tasks without sacrificing their health? The simple answer is NO. Macs are not an impenetrable to viruses ...
Microsoft Acquires Data Science Specialist
1497

Microsoft Acquires Data Science Specialist Revolution Analytics

In a bid to boost its software analytics strategy, Redmond-based Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, a Mountain View-based big data analytics specialist with a strong focus on R programming language. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed to the public ...