December 9, 2013 Last Updated 9:36 am

Tech giants team up to call for reform of government surveillance, publish open letter to the President and Congress

The leading tech giants today launched a website to call for the world’s governments to reform their surveillance practices. AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo are listed on the website, with Apple added in on the open letter to the President and members of Congress.

Here is the letter in full:

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

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