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Government Privacy Security The Internet United States Your Rights Online

Major US Tech Firms Press Congress For Internet Surveillance Reforms (reuters.com) 38

Dustin Volz, reporting for Reuters: Facebook, Amazon and more than two dozen other U.S. technology companies pressed Congress on Friday to make changes to a broad internet surveillance law, saying they were necessary to improve privacy protections and increase government transparency. The request marks the first significant public effort by Silicon Valley to wade into what is expected to be a contentious debate later the year over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, parts of which will expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress reauthorizes them. Of particular concern to the technology industry and privacy advocates is Section 702, which allows U.S. intelligence agencies to vacuum up vast amounts of communications from foreigners but also incidentally collects some data belonging to Americans that can be searched by analysts without a warrant.
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Major US Tech Firms Press Congress For Internet Surveillance Reforms

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  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @11:50AM (#54492081)
    Most of the lefty press is doing its hardest to not report on this week's news that the FISA court issued a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration for a protracted, sustained, deliberate embrace of purposeful 4th amendment violations of untold thousands of US citizens, and the FBI's dissemination of NSA-collected information on these people, without legal cover from a court, to "third parties." The courts had told the Obama administration specifically what they needed to change in order to become constitutionally compliant, and the Obama administration completely blew them off. A lot of this intersects with the scope of special counsel Mueller's authority in his current look-around, so hopefully he'll follow the trail down those "third party" rabbit holes and find out who was putting that huge pile of data to work, how, and to what end and at whose request.
    • by spacepimp ( 664856 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @12:01PM (#54492167) Homepage

      To those of you foolish enough to believe that US citizen surveillance via FBI/CIA/NSA is a partisan issue; please stop dumbing down the conversation. If you think that the only enemy is the other party and that your party is the steward of rights and liberties, then you haven't paid attention. Both parties have no problem with doubling down on these abuses.

      • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @12:14PM (#54492223) Journal

        To those of you foolish enough to believe that US citizen surveillance via FBI/CIA/NSA is a partisan issue; please stop dumbing down the conversation. If you think that the only enemy is the other party and that your party is the steward of rights and liberties, then you haven't paid attention. Both parties have no problem with doubling down on these abuses.

        It's not a partisan issue, but that's not the point. The point Scentcone is trying to make is that the press is trying to quash a story that would be front page news for weeks if it happened under a Republican administration.

        • Hey, look! Somebody gets it! Thanks for not being one of these people who's pretending they don't understand that basic fact. That IS the point.
        • The point Scentcone is trying to make is that the press is trying to quash a story that would be front page news for weeks if it happened under a Republican administration.

          And it would be on the front page too if it weren't for the fact that the current president is just so goddamn newsworthy while he sells the White House silverware to his favorite Russian fence.

          That, and the fact that the same surveillance of US citizens that was going on during Obama is still fucking going on.

          • I liked your link to part where he's selling things to the Russians. It was great how it compared the lack of any evidence of that to examples like Hillary Clinton ushering through a deal highly beneficial to Russian government and business interests, followed immediately by one of the banks involved writing her husband a half million dollar check for "speaking fees."
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Don't both be dicks, front page news of mains stream media owned by communist corporations, what there are none, all those major media corporations are pretty much down right fascist in their political outlook and only report what is called 'left wing' social justice issues as distraction needed to break up labour for exploitation. Uncle Tom Obama was far right, of a bankster appointed far right administration, fuck Obama was further right than Ronny Raygun. What far right main stream media is trying to hid

      • So, your request is: "If you're foolish, shut up," and you expect that making such a request will be successful?

        Have you ever considered something like the following?
        "To those of you insightful enough to understand that US citizen surveillance via FBI/CIA/NSA is a partisan issue; please add your voice to our cacophony. We have gregarious souls. Don't leave us frozen out by your silence. We can't properly refute your arguments if we don't know what they are."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Am I the only one who equates "search without warrant" and/or "mass surveillance" with "guilty before proven innocent", the exact opposite of what happens in a free country? It seems blindingly obvious to me. Am I off base here?

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Probably. Requiring a warrant is done for the purposes of oversight. That is, at least two people have to agree that you need to be searched rather than one person deciding it unilaterally.

        It just gives you (and everyone else) a bit of peace of mind in the guarantee that some jerk cop can't come ransack your house on a whim -- he has to talk to a judge first (who we presume to be wiser and more thoughtful when considering the justifying evidence presented.)

        It doesn't change your guilt or innocence (or you

  • They're all already in bed with the intelligence agencies. Why do they continue to put on this BS trick and pony show where they pretend to care about our privacy?
  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @12:14PM (#54492229)

    So, let me get this straight.

    Facebook, who enjoys pimping out the largest human database on the planet, and Amazon, who also holds one of the largest databases of human behavior as well as manufacturing an entire line of voice-enabled-always-listening devices sitting deep in people's homes...

    ...are the organizations arguing against mass surveillance?

    I can't tell if this is some kind of sick joke, twisted irony, or if they're just pissed that someone might be muscling in on their revenue streams.

    • I can't tell if this is some kind of sick joke, twisted irony, or if they're just pissed that someone might be muscling in on their revenue streams.

      The difference is using Facebook or Amazon is voluntary. Try opting out of the government.

      • Try opting out of THE INTERNET

      • I can't tell if this is some kind of sick joke, twisted irony, or if they're just pissed that someone might be muscling in on their revenue streams.

        The difference is using Facebook or Amazon is voluntary. Try opting out of the government.

        At this point opting out of anything the masses have deemed normal behavior will only make you an outlier, which will likely garner you even more scrutiny, from both society and the government.

        If a person under 20 tried to survive and thrive today without using any social media, they would be treated as if they had leprosy.

  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @01:09PM (#54492619)

    Most *normal* people are fucking retarded. Americans have forgotten that privacy is another word for liberty. Our government knows this.

    Tech companies don't want privacy, they just want less competition, and a market to sell the data to the government. Government wants it too. Then there are NO constitutional protections, no pesky warrants, no need for secret courts, bigger budgets, less transparency, no oversight, and even more data. All packaged and legal, direct from the companies everybody already loves. It's perfect.

    Yesterday I read about a DMV somewhere that was leasing their own in-house facial recog system to enforcement and got hung up for it... cuz government spying. I understand FB has has pretty good recog for YEARS, and has spent quite a while perfecting the sale of data. Looks like a market just opened up.

    We already accept these very companies are selling our demographic and interest info, but what do you think your dozen or so (aliases) screen-names are worth to enforcement? How about a list of your closest (known associates) friends? Political affiliation? How about a list of every gun owner within 2 blocks of $ADDRESS, separated by income, skin color, employment status, and real time location history.... instantly? You know, for the children.

    This data is already on the shelves folks, and these companies are using our outrage at government spying to build a market for it.

    Facebook and Amazon are asking for privacy? Like as in less spying? It must be fucking opposite day.

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      Facebook and Amazon are asking for privacy? Like as in less spying? It must be fucking opposite day.

      No, they're asking for privacy as in "we want all the data and nobody else should have it." With a touch of "we don't want to waste our time and money feeding our hard-earned data to the government."

      This is hardly a new sentiment, and its one the government should understand well -- they've always wanted to know everything about you while letting you know as little as possible about them. Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc are all in a position where they actually do know pretty much everything about you.. but

"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion." -- Harlan Ellison

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