Google wants users to call for ‘real’ NSA reform

Google is asking its users to “demand real surveillance reform” after last week’s House vote on a compromise bill to curb U.S. spying.

ADVERTISEMENT
Late Thursday, the company took to Twitter asking followers to “join us in asking the Senate to fix the USA Freedom Act,” which passed the House last week.

“It’s time for #RealSurveillanceReform,” the tweet said, directing followers to its advocacy website.

The USA Freedom Act passed unanimously through the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees earlier this month — earning the support of pro-reform lawmakers and tech companies — but critics say that last minute changes watered the bill down too much.

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition — made up of tech industry giants including Google — ultimately pulled its support for the bill as it headed to the House floor.

Though the bill “was designed to prevent the bulk collection of Internet data (e.g., who you email and who emails you) by the U.S. Government … the text was watered down so badly that it will not prevent bulk Internet data collection,” Google wrote on an the advocacy page.

“For example, as the bill stands today it could still permit the collection of email records from everyone who uses a particular email service,” the company said.

The page encourages users to add their names to the list of people calling for “real surveillance reform” as the bill heads to the Senate.

“As the legislation moves over to the Senate, it is critical that this loophole be closed,” the company wrote. 

“We need real surveillance reform urgently.”