Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter & AOL urge US privacy reform

Eight of America’s largest technology firms, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter & AOL, have signed an open letter to Barack Obama and the Congress calling for an overhaul of US privacy laws.

The united stance follows an erosion of public trust in the organisations ability to individual’s privacy in the wake of a series of damaging revelations surrounding the full scope of US surveillance.

Calling for an international ban on the bulk collection of data to restore public ‘trust in the internet’ the tech giants wrote: “The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour 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 change.

“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens,” they say in the letter. “But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide.”

The proposed measures would reign in the National Security Agency’s ability to gather vast quantities of data from individuals not associated with any terrorism threat and put in place new rules governing formal requests for firms to hand over individuals data.

The open letter will be published later today, it is expected.

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