Five of the Web’s largest and most influential companies (Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Twitter) have called for a debate in the UK about the extent to which Internet use is monitored by security agencies, following the ongoing revelations about the powers that the NSA and GCHQ already have at their disposal.
In a move that mirrors similar actions in the US, the companies have called upon British MPs to allow them to reveal more information about user-data requests issued by law enforcement agencies and other government departments, according to the Guardian today.
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“We recommend that requests for user data made by the UK government are made as transparent as possible,” the group said. “Each of our companies already publishes a transparency report and, as public concern grows around the world about the scale of digital surveillance, we believe that greater transparency is important in encouraging a full public debate and maintaining confidence that powers are not being abused.”
The letter also requests that any changes to legislation on access to communications data, such as the Communications Data Bill, are put on hold until the government has considered changes to international treaties that oversee the use of surveillance.
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