World’s top tech companies ask Congress to relax NSA spying laws

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Global technology giants like Google and Microsoft have teamed up with civil liberties groups to get Congress to change the country’s spying laws. Tech companies say they’re potentially losing billions in sales following Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations.

More than 40 companies wrote a letter to Congress and the Obama administration, sent Wednesday. Industry leaders such as Apple, Google and Facebook got in touch with civil liberties organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union to try and get Washington to change its spying laws, in the wake of the NSA scandal.

“Now is the time to take on meaningful legislative reforms to the nation’s surveillance programs that maintain national security while preserving privacy, transparency and accountability,” the group said in the letter.

“[T]he status quo is untenable and it is urgent that Congress move forward with reform.”

Tech companies have been amongst the biggest supporters of implementing change, as they believe they are losing out financially as the public becomes more suspicious about potential spying from the NSA, in the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations.

Richard Salgado, who is Google’s director for law enforcement and information security, told a US Senate panel on November 13, 2014, that spying carried out by the NSA has “the great potential for doing serious damage to the competitiveness” of US companies such as Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. He added that “the trust that’s threatened is essential to these businesses,” Bloomberg News reported.

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a policy research group based in Washington, says that US companies may lose as much as $35 billion because the public has lost confidence in the security of their products.

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