Thursday, July 18, 2013

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter call for transparency on NSA spying

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft are part of a broad alliance of technology companies and civil liberties groups that will demand dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts.

In a letter to be published Thursday, the alliance — whose members include 63 companies, investors, non-profits and trade organizations — will call upon President Obama and congressional leaders to allow Internet, telephone, and Web-based service providers to report national security-related requests for information with greater specificity. Specifically, they ask that they are allowed to regularly report:
     • The number of government requests for information about their users
     • The number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested
     • The number of requests that sought communications content, basic subscriber information, and/or other information.

'Information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people.'

- Coalition letter
The coalition also asks that the government begin issuing a transparency report of its own that provides essentially the same information — the total number of information requests made and the number of individuals affected by each.

“Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations,” a copy of the letter obtained by AllThingsD reads. 

“We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government’s national security -- related authorities. This information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people, who are entitled to have an informed public debate about the appropriateness of those authorities and their use.”

Food for thought:  Prior to my military tribunal, the government’s prosecutor unlawfully obtained copies of my home phone records, personal cell phone records and attempted to probe into my Internet accounts.  I was not being represented by an attorney at the time and they failed to authenticate that the alleged had been written by me. I believe someone at the Pentagon (obviously close to my case) are continuing to probe into my personal information, and are probably monitoring my phone calls and blog site.  Just last year, someone created a fake yahoo and twitter account in my name and they also hacked into my blog site.  Within a few days of reporting it to the FBI the accounts were disabled.

Let’s face facts here, government agencies have been spying on us for decades, especially if they consider you to be a threat to our national security.  Have Americans become our government worse enemies?  Does our government fear a civil uprising?

During my early years in the military, I was assigned to several military intelligence units and it was our job to protect and defend our country.  The military’s mission has not changed, neither has the mission statement of other federal security agencies.

I’m not defending the actions of the IRS, NSA, etc. I’m just stating the obvious.  

With the rush to jump onboard the fast paced “information highway” you are putting your personal identity, as well as your family safety at risk.  

Before I write a new blog, make a comment to another social media site, upload a picture or post a status update of my whereabouts on facebook, I do a reality check, and I censor myself.

It is no secret that our government uses different resources to “monitor us” as well as to aid their efforts in solving crimes. There are thousands of reports of identity theft, child abduction, robberies, etc. every day.  With certain Internet and security monitoring services being outsourced to overseas countries (for cheaper cost), who else have gained access to our personal lives?  

Yes, there should be transparent security measures across the board, within all federal agencies and private organizations.  But it starts with the individual.  No one can protect your identity better than you.

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