Tech companies Apple, Facebook, Google and other high profile firms are lobbying Congress to pass a new bill that attempts to limit NSA spying on email and other electronic communications of their users. A Bloomberg report says the groups are “pushing the Senate to pass legislation limiting National Security Agency spying before the Republican majority takes control of the chamber.”
Bloomberg, via 9to5Mac:
If a final bill isn’t reached this year, the process for passing legislation would begin over in January under a new Congress controlled by Republicans, many of whom support government surveillance programs… Members of the Consumer Electronics Association “have already lost contracts with foreign governments worth millions of dollars,” in response to revelations about U.S. spying, Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of the group that represents Apple, Google and Microsoft, wrote in a letter sent to all senators yesterday.
The news comes ahead of the Senate vote on the new bill scheduled for Nov. 18. A Republican controlled congress will be seated in January 2015.
The bill would require the NSA to obtain court orders for data requests to carriers and would also allow companies, such as Apple, to disclose more information about the government requests they receive.
The bill would also require a narrower focus on government surveillance, denying attempts by the NSA to collect widespread data such as all information from a particular service provider, city, ZIP code, or area code.
A previous bill, passed in May, was opposed by Apple and the other companies due to an “unacceptable loophole” the group said “could enable the bulk collection of Internet users’ data.”
It was revealed last week that the Department of Justice has been setting up fake cell towers on planes to grab information from users’ mobile devices.