Eight Tech Giants Call On The Government To Reform Surveillance Laws

“It’s time for a change,” say the firms, which include Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter.

Eight of the biggest tech firms in the U.S. have written an open letter to President Obama and Congress calling for a repeal of government surveillance laws. Twitter, AOL, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, and Apple are all signatories of the letter, which appears on the website.


“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens,” begins the letter. “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.”

Oddly enough, the Apple logo doesn’t appear at the top of the site’s homepage, nor is there any Apple representative quoted alongside Google’s Larry Page, Tim Armstrong (AOL), Mark Zuckerberg, Erika Rottenberg of LinkedIn, Brad Smith (Microsoft), Dick Costolo (Twitter), and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!).

An unforeseen consequence (but thoroughly logical, when you come to think of it) is that the morale of NSA workers has dipped. According to a story in the Washington Post, former NSA inspector general Joel Brenner is quoted as saying, “They feel they’ve been hung out to dry, and they’re right.”

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.