National Consumers League

National Consumers League statement on tech industry efforts to address government surveillance

December 10, 2013

Contact: NCL Communications, Ben Klein, (202) 835-3323, benk@nclnet.org

Washington, DC - The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today applauded the announcement by eight major technology industry companies of a coordinated effort to address the widespread collection of consumer data by the U.S. government.

In an open letter to Congress and the Obama Administration, the companies – AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo -- urged the federal government to abide by a set of principles limiting the massive collection of data about American citizens by federal intelligence agencies.

“Reforms addressing the mass surveillance of ordinary Americans is long overdue,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Consumers expect that the corporations to which they entrust their data will not turn it over to the government without very specific goals and parameters tied closely to achieving specific national security goals.”

NCL supports legislation, like that introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), that would require the Department of Justice to unseal certain rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts. This would do much to shine a spotlight on the workings of this court and start to restore consumers’ trust in the telecommunications and technology industry.

NCL appreciates that many companies have said no to demands for bulk data and commends these eight companies for asking for scrutiny over government intrusion into the private data of ordinary citizens. 

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit http://www.nclnet.org.