Seven leading Internet companies issued a joint call to reform current laws and practices covering online surveillance by government agencies and law enforcement in the United States.
In an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress, the companies urge the U.S. 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."
The companies said they believe this reform should be based on five principles:
- Limiting governments' authority to collect users' information
- Oversight and accountability
- Transparency about government demands
- Respecting the free flow of information
- Avoiding conflicts among governments.
Signatories are Aol, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!.