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December 9, 2013

Tech firms unite to call for limits on NSA snooping

Firms pressed for urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide.

By CBR Staff Writer

Tech firms including Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter have jointly formed a ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ group to call on US government over NSA spying activities.

In an open letter to the President Barack Obama and Congress members, all the firms pressed that the revelations by the ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practises worldwide.

"We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens," the statement said.

"The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual."

"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. "

Several of the firms alleged that the disclosures had upset public faith in the internet alleged that several US businesses may lose revenue overseas as doubting customers tapped local alternatives.

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Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said that people won’t use technology they don’t trust.

"Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it," Smith said.

Many of the eight firms have reacted to snooping by announcing to bolster encryption and security on their sites.

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