This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
CNET News Video: Inside Scoop: Tech giants want limits on government snooping
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

CNET News Video: Inside Scoop: Tech giants want limits on government snooping

4:15 /

In an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress, a group of technology heavyweights including Apple, Google, and Facebook is calling for greater oversight of government surveillance. CNET's Seth Rosenblatt details what the companies are seeking and what the move means for consumers.

-Hello and welcome to Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das joining me is senior writer for CNET, Seth Rosenblatt. Seth, thanks for being with us. -Thanks, Sumi. Thank you. -So, there was an open letter written by a bunch of tech heavy weights-- -Uh huh. -that have banded together. And it's an open letter to Congress and to the president of the United States about security and-- -Uh huh. Yes. -the collective sort of group is called 'Reform Government Surveillance." -Yes. -Tell us what this letter is asking for. I mean, the title kinda gives it away, but-- -You're right. So to summarize, there's a bunch of good points in the letter, but to summarize these companies are asking the government to be more fair, you know, according to them and how they request data from these companies. -Yeah. -So, they want more oversight. They want more safeguards. They want more transparency. And these are things that technically they've had, but because of various rulings in the FISA and surveillance courts over the years, have been sort of hamstrung and the government has found ways to circumvent them and these companies are upset and they're not gonna take it anymore. -Yeah. So why now? Why are the companies asking for, you know, limitations--reasonable limitations on the government's powers and abilities in terms of security? -Sure. This all goes back to the Edward Snowden document leaks. -Right. -The documents that he blew the whistle on-- have really changed the game. Surveillance is something that is not just talked about people wearing tin foil hats. -Uh huh. -We've actually found out it's far worse than we could ever have imagined. And you know, that involves pretty serious things like various governments around the world being involved in breaking cryptographic standards and really doing pretty severe damage to how the internet operates. -What do you think is gonna happen next? I mean, we were chatting this and this is sort of like a warning shot, right, in some regards. -Yes. Yes, absolutely. This is-- This is definitely nothing more than a warning shot. In and of itself, there's no teeth. But what it does indicate is that these companies that really, you know, oftenly they get along in some ways, but they're always sort of arguing with each other and fighting with each other over-- -We should maybe mention which companies-- sorry to interrupt-- -Oh sure, yeah. -But yeah, we've got Apple, Twitter, Microsoft-- -Facebook. -Facebook. -Google, of course, Yahoo. -LinkedIn. -Google LinkedIn and AOL. -It's all the big players. -All the big players are involved. They're all agreeing to this. And that's a big deal. What we're probably gonna wind-up seen is nothing in the short term. -Okay. -But in the long term, I wouldn't be surprise if we saw a far more lobbying in relation to surveillance on Capitol Hill, and this is also assigned to these companies' customers that they are attempting to take steps to protect you. It's not something that I would personally put a lot of faith in at the moment. -Okay. -And no response thus far from the government; however, the letter was just sort of-- -[unk] -Yeah. Okay. As far as customers are concerned, there's nothing really that they can do at this point, right? If they're using the services of any of those companies or the products that any of those companies have put out, they're really just-- the companies were just letting the customers, they'll hate we're doing this. -Yes, absolutely. -I mean, when the governments have figured out how they attack into the internet backbone. I guess it's only so much that you can do. In unfortunately interviews, these companies are the biggest players and it's hard to find services that are not these companies. -And I think you bring up a good point about privacy in these companies sort of asking-- -Oh sure. -customers give up privacy, right. -Oh sure. There's no small irony and the fact that these are companies that for years have really been pushing people to share more if not actively anti-privacy companies. And now, they're taking steps to ensure that if someone is gonna use your data, it's going to be them. -Uh huh. Not the government. -Not the government. -Okay. Well, Seth we will trust that you will keep us informed on this issue. Thanks so much. -Thank you. -For Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das. Thanks for watching.

New releases

Mille Miglia 2014: A front-row...
13:10 August 21, 2014
XCAR drives nearly a thousand miles in a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupé, following millions of dollars of metal...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 039: "Swarmies"...
18:06 August 20, 2014
On today's show, Ashley and Khail check out how NASA might use tiny robot swarms to search for resources on...
Play video
Upgrade RAM on your MacBook Pr...
3:16 August 20, 2014
Find out how to install more memory on your MacBook so that your computer can easily handle heavy tasks.
Play video
The Wink Hub strives for a smarter...
2:31 August 20, 2014
Unlike pricier protocol translators, Wink's $80 hub won't weigh you down.
Play video
Have you heard? Space gets loud...
32:14 August 20, 2014
They can't hear you scream in space, but that doesn't mean there are no sounds coming from the cosmos. The...
Play video
Image recognition: Making your...
13:02 August 20, 2014
The new wave of cameras is changing how you use your phone and tablet; why are batteries so far behind the...
Play video
AT&T's Asus PadFone X handset does...
1:47 August 20, 2014
Sporting a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and 13-megapixel lens, the 5-inch PadFone X smartphone can dock...
Play video
Sony's receiver offers big bang...
1:50 August 20, 2014
The Sony STR-DN1050 offers almost everything you could want in a mid-range receiver with plenty of features,...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre