Eight major U.S. web companies including Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Google, AOL, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have approached the government in various ways to address current US surveillance programs that are hurting business. Apple, Google and Facebook specifically made a joint call on Monday for tighter controls on how governments collect personal data, intensifying the furor over online surveillance.
In an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress, the companies said recent revelations showed the balance had tipped too far in favor of the state in many countries and away from the individual, Reuters reports.
In June, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden exposed top secret government surveillance programs that tap into communications on cables linking technology companies' various data centers overseas.
After Snowden's disclosure, many of the big Internet companies warned that American businesses may lose revenue abroad as distrustful customers switched to local alternatives.
"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. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It's time for a change."
Reuters further reported that the companies have detailed their 'Reform Government Surveillance' campaign on a website, calling on the U.S. government to take the lead by limiting how much user information a government can collect.
"People won't use technology they don't trust," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said on the website. "Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it."