AllThingsD has obtained a copy of a letter being sent by Apple and a collection of 62 other technology companies, investors and civil liberties groups to the US government demanding more transparency in US surveillance efforts. According to ATD, the letter will:
...call upon President Obama and congressional leaders to allow Internet, telephone, and Web-based service providers to report national security-related requests for information with greater specificity. Specifically, they ask that they are allowed to regularly report:
• The number of government requests for information about their users
• The number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested
• The number of requests that sought communications content, basic subscriber information, and/or other information.
The letter is of course a response to the NSA's PRISM scandal that broke last month. In addition to Apple, here is a listing of some of the other technology companies who have signed the letter: AOL, Digg, Dropbox, Evoca, Facebook, Google, Heyzap, LinkedIn, Meetup, Microsoft, Mozilla, Reddit, salesforce.com, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, YouNow, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Public Knowledge, Reporters Without Borders and The Wikimedia Foundation.
While the full contents of the letter will not be made public until tomorrow, AllThingsD has provided a selection from it, which you can read below:
"Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations.We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government's national security–related authorities. Just as the United States has long been an innovator when it comes to the Internet and products and services that rely upon the Internet, so too should it be an innovator when it comes to creating mechanisms to ensure that government is transparent, accountable, and respectful of civil liberties and human rights."