Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Allow tech companies to disclose to users the number and scope of user data requests
Recently, American citizens have been distrustful of major technological companies as it was revealed that the National Security Agency requests information about the tech companies’ users. In an effort to regain user trust and transparency, many of these tech companies have asked the Obama administration to allow them to disclose these requests to the users. Disclosing this information will allow users to know what information is being shared and what is kept private. This will allow the American public to feel more secure with their private communications.
Nearly two dozen tech companies, including major corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google, sent a letter to the United States government asking for permission to disclose security requests. In the letter, they argued that the American people are entitled to know what is happening to their information, so that an informed public debate can result. The letter also brings up concerns about international users, who should not have to worry about the American government intercepting their communications, but do face this concern if they use U.S.-based providers. These tech companies have made it clear that they are not looking to pass the blame for privacy concerns, but instead help their users understand what is happening to their private information.
Director of the National Security Agency General Keith Alexander supports allowing these companies to disclose information to their users. The companies would not disclose the exact nature of the data obtained by the government. However, they would disclose much useful information, such as number of requests, number of affected users, and the type of data requested. Users will be able to know if their messages or personal information is visible to the government. This will help increase transparency within the government and the National Security Agency, which in turn will help increase public trust. The government should allow these tech companies to disclose this important information.
Dear President Obama,
Recently, the American public has been distrustful of the government and major tech companies after it was revealed that the government requested private information and communications from the companies’ users. In response, nearly two dozen major tech companies have asked you to allow them to disclose requests from the National Security Agency. The companies seek to disclose how many requests they receive, how many user accounts are affected, and the type of data that is requested. The aim of disclosing this information is not to pass blame for privacy concerns, but instead open an informed discussion among users about their privacy.
I ask you to allow these companies to disclose this information to their users. People have the right to know if communication they think is private is actually being seen. At a time when many American citizens worry about their private information and communication, transparency from those who hold the information is extremely important. Allow the companies to disclose the information and allow the American people to feel secure.
[Your Name Here]