US surveillance controversy underlines importance of corporate foreign policy

The Snowden revelations are by no means the first time that technology firms have been caught in controversies in recent years.

By ANDREW HAMMOND
August 25, 2013 12:12
4 minute read.
U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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In a 2011 report, which was declassified last week, then Chief Judge John Bates of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court expressed concern at US Government surveillance programs. He asserted that “the volume and nature of the information [that was being collected as of 2011] is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe.”

The release of the report, which was written well in advance of leaks about the US surveillance programs by former US Government contractor Edward Snowden, will fuel world-wide debate. And it follows an announcement on August 9 by US President Barack Obama about changes to the US surveillance system, including “appropriate reforms” to Section 215 of the Patriot Act which guides collection of data such as phone call and internet usage.

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