Took them long enough.
In a letter addressed to the Senate committee this Thursday, the six top technology companies in America signed a joint message calling for an end to the unregulated and unrestricted access the NSA has gained into their networks over the past ten years. No one could have imagined that 9/11 would be the tipping point for such a massive violation of personal privacy rights, but here we are a mere three months after the first leak, and six of the most valuable companies in the country are writing an open appeal to their government to request that someone put a stop to the madness before it goes too far.
“Recent disclosures regarding surveillance activity raise important concerns both in the United States and abroad,” said the letter signed by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL.
“Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is clear that more needs to be done. Our companies believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.”
This move comes shortly after news broke from the Washington Post citing a program called MUSCULAR, which had been designed and implemented on behalf of Uncle Sam in a covert effort to collect as much data on search engines and their associated services as possible. By placing taps on fibre optic lines in jurisdictions outside of US borders, the National Security Agency attempted to skirt its own Constitution just to get a taste of the river of data that flows through their pipes nightly.
One can only hazard a guess how effective this letter will be, as not even the Senate seems to have the ability to control the rogue NSA and its tens of thousands of employees who stayed quiet through all of it. Until the US government gets its bureaucratic gears moving, you can use the VPNCreative list of VPN providers to choose the option that fits your budget, level of technical skill, and overall knowledge of how a proxy works.
“The time is now for serious and meaningful reform. We are committed to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to get this done so we can restore confidence in our intelligence community and protect the privacy rights of our citizens.”