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12/9/2013
04:00 PM
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Tech Giants To US: Stop Spying

Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo have asked the US government to limit its data gathering.

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bhound56
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bhound56,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/9/2013 | 5:23:43 PM
Citizen to Tech Giants
Citizen to Tech Giants:  you don't speak for me.  Get off the Gov's back.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 5:39:31 PM
Re: Citizen to Tech Giants
I'm curious. Why do you believe the government should not be bound by law when it comes to gathering information?
YaarovS134
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YaarovS134,
User Rank: Strategist
12/9/2013 | 6:03:32 PM
If I were google, I should have known some spies' machine ID
when those spies look for anything on the internet, my Chrome browser responds

"Sorry, search found nothing for you."

If I were Microsoft, ...
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 6:07:33 PM
Who Can We Trust?
Two interesting pain points here: One we don't often feel; and other we now plainly can:

On one hand you have Forrester analyst James Staten noting: "It's naive and dangerous to think that the NSA's actions are unique. Nearly every developed nation on the planet has a similar intelligence arm which isn't as forthcoming about its procedures for requesting and gaining access to service provider (and ultimately corporate) data."

On the other hand you have corporate Microsoft general counsel, Brad Smith, whom I've met personally and who does a better job than most in articulating the hidden costs of technology within a mish-mash of multinational legal systems, arguing: "People won't use technology they don't trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it."

In the end, I'm skeptical that we can trust either Big Tech of Government to truly look out for people's privacy.  The upshot though is the debate has entered the national conversation and that's a good thing.

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for that app-for-the-common man & woman that can tell us when our data and devices are getting snopped and siphoned and gives us the power to do something about it.

 

 

SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 9:20:59 AM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
It's true that people will stop using technologies that they don't trust but I think that the perceived reaction of the public is a bit overblown.  Where were all these cries for the government to stop spying when we found out about Predator?  Why is the Snowden incident any different?  Even now the public might recognize the name but do they really understand what he did or how he got the information that he has?  I suspect that this is only causing a stir because the news cycle has lasted longer than expected.  Once news of Snowden dies down we'll be right back to the public being in an out of sight out of mind mentality and they won't think twice about the NSA skimming data.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2013 | 9:47:16 AM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
SaneIT, fair point. I sense most people are generally indifferent to the Snowden revelations -- and that people have come to accept that the information about our lives is an open book - a tradeoff we make for the conveniences of technology.

It's interesting that the NSA revelations have got the Big Tech companies up in arms, but those companies are in many ways, harvesting and profiting more from our daily digital footprints than what NSA is doing. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2013 | 10:05:12 AM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
This issue has likely "blown over" as far as the general public is concerned. Will businesses have a longer memory for it, in terms of deciding what data services vendors to trust?
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 12:23:35 PM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
I agree that the issue has mostly blown over, but with the US pushing its TPP agreement along, it's asking for another SOPA/PIPA style protest in a lot of countries that could easily bring the issue back to the fore. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2013 | 4:10:00 PM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
Once someone develops a cloud service that cannot be intercepted and decrypted, the issue will be resolved. But it remains to be seen whether that's technically doable and whether any government would allow a truly impenetrable service provider. If software weren't so full of holes by accident, the authorities would probably require the addition of holes...
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 5:54:15 PM
Re: Who Can We Trust?
I think the tech companies are overstating the issue of customer trust. No one is going to stop using Gmail because of the NSA. The real issue is the danger to our civil liberties. I'm glad the tech giants are using their clout to try and get some reforms in place, but it's unlikely any of them are going to suffer from a drop in users because of NSA surveillance.
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