AirTalk for December 9, 2013

What's behind Big Tech lobbying against government surveillance?

Google Developers Event Held In San Francisco

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 15: Attendees work on laptops during the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

The nation's biggest tech companies including Google, Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo have teamed up to call on the US government to fight harder against online spying. Usually rivals, the companies want one thing - less government surveillance.

Together they published an open letter in several newspapers including the New York Times asking Congress and the Obama administration to enact reforms of the National Security Agency surveillance practices that went public after former contractor Edward Snowden leaked some of them to the press. The companies claim they're "keeping users' data secure" by using the "latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance".

Many Americans share the same concerns about expansive government spying. Will this unlikely tech alliance be able to convince Congress to take action? Are their concerns and demands reasonable? Many of these tech companies including Google are also criticized for collecting and using too much user data. Is this request hypocritical? Are you comfortable with the level of NSA surveillance if it helps thwart terrorism concerns?

Guest:

Kim Zetter, Senior Reporter at Wired


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