Technology companies in the United States have criticized President Barack Obama for his failure to do enough to protect citizens’ privacy amid months-long reports on government’s spying scandals.
The companies say the president’s speech on US surveillance is a step in right direction but called on him to dramatically reform the National Security Agency surveillance programs disclosed by Edward J. Snowden, an agency former contractor.
“The president’s speech was empathetic, balanced and thoughtful, but insufficient to meet the real needs of our globally connected world and a free Internet,” said Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a group that represents Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other technology companies upset about the NSA’s broad surveillance of online communications, according miamiherald.com
On Friday, President Obama ordered intelligence agencies to get a court’s permission before accessing phone data from American citizens. He also issued a directive that intelligence-gathering can’t be employed to suppress criticism of the United States or provide a competitive advantage to US companies.
But eight of the world’s best-known technology companies stressed that Obama didn’t address all their concerns.
“Additional steps are needed on other important issues, so we’ll continue to work with the administration and Congress to keep the momentum going and advocate for reforms consistent with the principles we outlined in December,” said the statement from Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and AOL.
Obama’s order is not likely to diminish the potential losses facing the US technology industry, said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington D.C. think tank, according to the website.
The doubts raised by the NSA spying could cost US tech companies as much as $35 billion over the next three years, the ITIF estimates.
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