information privacy

7 petitions

This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to Robert Mueller, Eric H. Holder

Eric Holder: Allow tech companies to publish NSA data requests

After a leak of documents from the National Security Agency showed that a secret program called PRISM allows widespread surveillance of U.S. citizens' phone and internet activities with some of the world's biggest tech corporations, the nation is concerned and confused about our privacy rights.  President Obama and the NSA have stated that widespread spying of Americans is not taking place and that the government is only requesting certain data from these companies. There is an easy way to show if this is true and that companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter have taken the commendable step of requesting that the NSA allow them to publish the records of government data requests in their company transparency reports.  In part, Google's letter states: Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users’ data are simply untrue. However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation.We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. 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.  The government allowed Google to start reporting the number of national security letters they received requesting data earlier this year, but they are still barred from releasing information about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders. The requests for this data often comes in the form of secret court orders that not only force these companies to give data but also make it impossible for them to discuss even the basic details. That should change. By allowing these companies to include this information in their transparency reports, the government will be giving American citizens at least some of the insight we deserve about how our daily activities like emails and Google searches are being tracked by the government. 

Student Net Alliance
10,195 supporters
This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to Twitter

Don't Make Life Easier for Harassers. Don't Change Your Blocking Feature

Twitter just updated their blocking policy and it’s a nightmare.  According to a statement put out on Thursday evening this is the new blocking policy:  If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you. Previously, if you were being harassed or simply trolled by spam accounts, you could click the “Block” button which would forbid that user from ever following you and also remove them from your mentions and timeline.  Now, even if you block someone who is harassing you, that person becomes invisible to you but they are free to follow you and RT you into their timeline. This is a huge and very serious problem for people, like me, who have received repeated rape and death threats on Twitter on a fairly consistent basis.  I utilize the Block button almost every day and while that is not a perfect solution - because users can simply log out to view your timeline even if you have blocked them - it at least forbid harassers from following you and at worst retweeting you into their feed which can simply allow their followers to also harass you. Twitter is no longer a safe space.  As a public person who uses the medium for my work, I am very concerned because stalkers and abusers will now be able to keep tabs on their victims, and while there was no way to prevent it 100% before, Twitter should not be in the business of making it easier to stalk someone.

Zerlina Maxwell
2,511 supporters