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US needs to restore trust following NSA revelations, tech groups say

Grant Gross | July 21, 2014
The U.S government can take action to slow the calls in other countries to abandon U.S. tech vendors following revelations about widespread National Security Agency surveillance, some tech representatives said Friday.

While current legislative proposals on NSA surveillance are largely limited to protecting U.S. residents, Congress can do more, Bankston and Hopfensperger said.

"We don't a need a world apology tour, but it's pretty clear that doing nothing isn't getting us anywhere at all," Hopfensperger said. "Billions of dollars are being lost and there's going to be more to come."

Bankston called on Congress to narrow the scope of data collection by the NSA, both within and outside the U.S. Lawmakers can also allow tech vendors to publish more information about the surveillance requests they receive and can prohibit U.S. intelligence agencies from asking tech vendors to build back doors into products.

The NSA should also stop "secret stockpiling" of Web vulnerabilities as a way to exploit them, he said.

All those changes, and others, could help restore trust in the U.S. government and tech vendors, he said. "There is a real impact coming from this, and we need to act to address it," he said.

 

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