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A coalition of some of the world’s biggest tech firms have banded together to send an open letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress asking for transparency on the NSA’s surveillance programs, including PRISM.
Interestingly, AllThingsD reports, the companies are not asking that surveillance be stopped, merely that they be allowed to report more fully on government access to data: the number of government requests, the number of accounts or people the requests reference, and the types of requests.
Update – here is the full letter.
Tech firms have been under fire ever since PRISM leaker Edward Snowden revealed documents that the NSA has been spying on Americans — both at home and abroad.
One part of the letter calls on legislators’ patriotism:
Just as the United States has long been an innovator when it comes to the Internet and products and services that rely upon the Internet, so too should it be an innovator when it comes to creating mechanisms to ensure that government is transparent, accountable, and respectful of civil liberties and human rights.
The full letter is due to be published tomorrow.
The 61 signatories include public interest and consumer privacy groups such as the ACLU, the EFF, Wikimedia Foundation, Reports without Borders, and the Center for Democracy and Technology and top tech companies, including:
- Union Square Ventures
- Y Combinator