Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and many more companies are asking President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress for greater transparency on PRISM, NSA surveillance of Americans, and government requests for data about their customers.
theY started a WhiteHouse.gov petition to require more accountability from the NSA on its spying programs. Yahoo has also posted to its corporate blog, saying that democracy demands accountability, and accountability requires transparency.
“We are proud to join dozens of our partners across the tech industry, civil society organizations, and trade associations to urge greater transparency by the U.S. government regarding national security demands for our users’ information,” Yahoo’s general counsel Ron Bell wrote.
News broke about the coming letter, which is addressed to Obama and 15 other leading legislators, last night (17 July). In the letter, Silicon Valley is essentially asking Washington to be more open. The companies are not asking for all surveillance to go away — they’re too realistic for that — but they do ask for the right to be able to tell their customers how many times the government is asking for information on them.