Top tech firms want stronger surveillance rules

Some of the leading lights of technology are asking Congress and the White House to reform surveillance laws and practices in the wake of intelligence-gather leaks over the summer from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL and LinkedIn have ask the United States "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."

A letter to Congress and President Barack Obama was posted on a new website called Reform Government Surveillance.

The group's effort reflects a growing concern among U.S. firms that their reputations are being undermined in the global marketplace by disclosures about bulk data collection by the NSA, efforts to limit the effectiveness of data encryption, and reports of interception of Internet traffic on networks between secure servers. By one estimate, disclosures of NSA surveillance could cost U.S. cloud providers between $22 billion and $35 billion over the next three years in global enterprise business.

To see the complete story and more reaction from the companies go to

About the Authors

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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