Daily VideoDecember 10, 2013
Tech Companies Call on Government to Reign in Surveillance
Eight major tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, banded together to write an open letter to the president and Congress calling for the government to reign in surveillance that compromises people’s personal information.
The letter read in part: “The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual, rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish.”
The letter was the tech industry’s latest attempt to regain public trust. Some customers complained, and some even switched email services, after learning that these companies provided user data to the government for terrorism surveillance purposes. These revelations came from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who is currently living in exile in Russia while the US tries to bring him back to face criminal charges. Intelligence officials maintain the data collection operation has prevented a number of terror attacks.
President Obama has created an advisory panel to investigate whether citizens’ rights are being violated and has asked for recommendations. The panel is expected to announce its findings soon– as early as this week.
Warm up questions
- How does the U.S. government try to prevent a terrorist attack?
- How does the U.S. government identify and track potential terrorists?
- Would you be willing to let your government monitor your emails? What about your text messages?
- Who are the biggest tech companies in the United States? Can you name some?
- Which constitutional rights at stake in this story?
- Do you think that writing an open letter to the government was a good strategy? What do you think were the motives behind it? Also, what are the risk and benefits of this strategy?
- Do you think this strategy will work? How can individuals get involved either to support what the government is doing or try to change the government’s strategy?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
In March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the island nation of Japan, causing a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three years later, experts are trying to assess how recovery efforts in the nuclear-affected area are progressing. Continue reading
The State Department released its annual human rights report last week and concluded that last summer’s chemical weapons attack in Syria, which killed more than 1,400 people, was the worst human rights violation of 2013. Continue reading
Ukraine readied its military forces for war on Sunday following Russian President Vladimir Putin declaration of Russia’s right to invade the country. Continue reading
In an effort to address the challenges young men of color face as they go…
DOWNLOAD VIDEO Following the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych after weeks of violent protest…