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Read the 8 Biggest Tech Companies’ Joint Open Letter on NSA Surveillance: ‘Time for a Change’

America’s largest technology companies have banded together to lobby the Obama Administration and Congress to enact reforms of the National Security Agency surveillance practices that were revealed earlier this year in leaked documents from contractor Edward Snowden.

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo have issued an open letter urging the U.S. government to “take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight.”

The letter appeared in full page ads in The New York Times, Washington Post and other D.C.-based papers and is accompanied by a website that lays out five principles of the campaign and includes quotes from the CEOs of the companies involved.

“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says on the site. “The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer adds, “Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users, and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world.”

Read the full open letter below and learn more about the campaign at ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com.

Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.

For our part, we are focused on keeping users’ data secure — deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.

We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com

Sincerely,

AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo

[photo via screengrab]

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