Mozilla, Other Web Companies Lobby To Rein In NSA

Search engine Duck Duck Go, browser developer Mozilla and social news site Reddit are among dozens of Web companies and civil rights groups who are calling on Congress to immediately put an end to the National Security Agency's practice of scooping up data about people's communications.  

“As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time,” states the letter, signed by 86 companies and watchdog groups. “This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy.”

Signatories -- including broadband advocates like Free Press and Public Knowledge -- have launched the campaign, in hopes of rewriting the Patriot Act to “make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court.”

That's not the only way news about the NSA's surveillance is reverberating throughout Silicon Valley. Google today also went public with its own issues about the NSA's surveillance.

The company asked authorities for permission to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests. “Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide,” chief legal officer David Drummond said in a letter to the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Meanwhile, even humor site The Onion is weighing in on the controversy. Today, the site posted the piece, “Area Man Outraged His Private Information Being Collected By Someone Other Than Advertisers.”

It includes the following tidbit: “Michael Landler, 46, told reporters Monday that he is outraged his private information is being collected by someone other than advertisers. “I can’t express how infuriated I am that my credit history, phone activity, and online browsing habits are being systematically collected and archived without my knowledge by undisclosed organizations that aren’t trying to sell me products.”

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