Eight major technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, are joining forces to call for tighter controls on government surveillance, according to The Associated Press.
In an open letter to President Barack Obama, the companies say that while they sympathize with national security concerns, recent revelations make it clear that laws should be carefully tailored to balance them against individual rights.
According to the letter, “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.”
The companies’ campaign is aimed at governments around the world, not just the U.S., and it argues that officials should codify “sensitive limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data” and to ensure law enforcement and intelligence efforts are transparent and accountable.
The letter was signed by AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc., and Yahoo! Inc.