The Edward Snowden leaks have fostered a cottage industry in softening or repositioning the involvement of elected officials and technology companies. Given that few of us can be sure we won't be implicated for our role in that surveillance in the future—can you?—here are some do's and don't's for downplaying your role in the process based on new statements from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Microsoft.
In our effort to ensure the most informative article possible, these statements are as fresh as they come. Microsoft's new statement is an upgrade to its initial response after its name was mentioned in association with the NSA's PRISM data collection system. At that point, the company issued a tepid response: "If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it." That was undermined somewhat by a report last week detailing Microsoft's role in a broader national security program to gather customer data. So, today's substantially longer offering.
Feinstein's was made public by Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law's Center for Internet and Society.
What can we learn from these denials?