Several big named tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are publicly requesting that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allow them to transparently publish more information regarding the controversial data mining operations and surveillance programs held by US government agencies.
Dubbed SpyGate, the legitimate controversy has made headlines over legislation of section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the FISA amendment ACT. Not to mention the whistleblower saga that has ensued after former NSA employee and current on the run globetrotter, Eric Snowden, leaked details about the covert operation infamously known as Prism. Many of the allegations summarized in the massive leak state that the US government has backdoor access to the servers of many leading private industry companies and direct access to major US telecommunication carriers. With such access, the government collects and monitors millions of American's information not limited to just metadata. Many private companies have signed a petition of transparency that includes Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Skype and many others. Below is the petition letter in its entirety.
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"The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization. Additionally, with iOS 6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID" - Natalie Keriss Apple Spokeswoman
Unique Device Identifiers, or UDIDs, are somewhat similar to a serial number or a social security number for devices. It is comprised of about 40 alphanumeric characters that basically identifies you as the device owner. It could be used for targeted ads and marketing analytics, or it can be utilized for development purposes like app and software distribution.
The hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ launched its biggest cyber-attack ever last Thursday on a bunch of governmane and corporate Web sites after the FBI shut down the ever-popular file sharing destination Megaupload. The sites attacked include The Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, and the Recording Industry Association of America. Later, CBS and Universal were targeted and taken down. Just this morning, Anonymous attacked the UFC site. These attacks started the day after the SOPA and PIPA blackouts which, according to some, could not have come at a worse time.
Anonymous is taking responsibility for the attacks, however no individual persons have come out and claimed that they took part in the operation, which is to be expected. As of right now, the government sites that were attacked are now back up and functioning.