Silicon Valley Stays Away from Internet Surveillance Law Debate

Silicon Valley Stays Away from Internet Surveillance Law Debate

Tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, and several other renowned technology companies went missing in the debate about renewal of the Internet Surveillance Law in the United States. The debate took place in Washington on July 18, 2017. As per the sources accustomed with this matter, the absence of major tech firms weakened prospects for specific privacy reforms that were meant to further safeguard customer data.

The civil liberties and congressional aides said that massive tech companies often attend the debate in Washington over various privacy issues, however, they appear to be hesitant this time to participate in any argument over a provocative part of the FISA-Foreign Intelligence Surveillance. They added that it’s a matter of concern as their absence can potentially endanger a transatlantic data transfer deal that underpins billions of dollars in the digital services trade.

Many privacy groups and technology companies have complained for several years about a specific part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, particularly termed as Section 702. This section allows the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States, to analyze and collect emails as well as other virtual communications of immigrants residing overseas. Although the section targets the foreigners, it also gathers data of several Americans- certain privacy believers suggest that the number could be in millions- without any valid search warrant.

This section (702) will get terminated by the end of this year provided it does not get reauthorized by the Republican Controlled Congress votes. Several Republican senators and intelligence agencies in the U.S wish to have this law renewed as they consider it as a vital process for national security. They want the law to be unchanged and permanent. However, a union of libertarian-leaning conservatives and democrats prefer to make some amendments in the law by integrating more privacy measures to safeguard the users.

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