“German lawmakers may call the heads of the largest U.S. technology companies to testify before their investigation into the National Security Agency’s data-collection activities, adding a new corporate twist to the spying scandal,” Harriet Torry reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The shortlist of potential witnesses, which parliamentarians will discuss at a meeting on Thursday, include Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter Inc. CEO Dick Costolo, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, lawmakers said. Google Inc.’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Microsoft’s MSFT General Counsel Brad Smith, and former NSA directors Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden are also on the list.”

“Germany’s four largest parliamentary groups set up the investigation committee in March following public outrage here at the alleged harvesting of Europeans’ telecommunications data by the NSA and its U.K. counterpart. The decisive impetus came after the German government conceded it had little hope of reaching a no-spy agreement with Washington,” Torry reports. “Last year, the Obama administration publicly acknowledged a secret NSA program dubbed Prism, which tapped the servers of major U.S. Internet companies for foreign intelligence purposes—including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft Corp. U.S.-based tech companies have denied giving the U.S. government unfettered access to user data.”

Torry reports, “U.S. citizens summoned by the Committee aren’t obliged to appear if they are outside Germany, ‘but we hope they will come,’ Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union who sits on the eight-member committee, told The Wall Street Journal.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Lynn Weiler,” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]

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