Earlier this week the i2Coalition signed onto a letter opposing a request by the the FBI to expand surveillance powers by amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. This expansion would give the FBI the legal authority to retrieve a user’s browser history and other data without warrants as long as it was relevant to a terrorism and/or espionage case.
Increasing surveillance and diminishing privacy statutes equate to diminishing customer confidence in the cloud and other technologies, weakening Internet infrastructure companies. Technology businesses, may seem heavily weighted towards large players, but in reality tech is made up of mostly small business, struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. The open Internet’s continued strength lies in the innovations brought by these businesses.
The full letter is available below.
- Access Now
- Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
- American Civil Liberties Union
- American Library Association
- Amnesty International USA
- Association of Research Libraries
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
- Computer & Communications Industry Association
- Constitutional Alliance
- Demand Progress
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Free Press Action Fund
- Institute for Policy Innovation
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- New America’s Open Technology Institute
- Open the Government
- R Street
- Restore the Fourth
- Tech Freedom
- The Constitution Project
- World Privacy Forum
EDIT: The letter was mentioned on the Washington Post here.
The Obama administration is seeking to amend surveillance law to give the FBI explicit authority to access a person’s Internet browser history and other electronic data without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases. The administration made a similar effort six years ago, but dropped it after concerns were raised by privacy advocates and the tech industry.