Tech giants’ demand for NSA reform ‘a major game-changer’

Google and Facebook among firms calling for radical reform
Google's data centre in Council Bluffs, IowaBy Paul Lewis in Washington

Photograph: Keystone USA/Zuma/Rex Features

The companies have called for widespread changes. Photograph: Keystone USA/Zuma/Rex Features
Senior figures behind efforts to curtail the powers of American spy agencies have seized on the decision by the world’s largest tech companies to call for radical surveillance reform, saying the unexpected intervention is a potential “game-changer”.

In an open letter published jointly on Monday, eight tech giants, including Apple, Google and Facebook, said disclosures by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that basic rights and freedoms were being undermined.

The companies – which also include Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, LinkedIn and Twitter, and have a combined value of $1.4tn – called for widespread changes that, if enacted, would end many of the current programs through which governments spy on citizens at home and abroad.
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