WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today’s news that leading private sector technology firms have formed a coalition seeking reform of government surveillance laws and practices.

Consisting of AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo, the coalition is asking that governments around the world codify sensible limits on compelling service providers to disclose user data, allow companies to publish the number and nature of government demands for such data and for intelligence agencies to operate under a clear legal framework with checks and balances.

In an open letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, the coalition asks that the United States “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.”

“There is growing evidence that runaway government surveillance is impacting U.S. business interests abroad, so seeing this sort of outreach from our domestic technology community is very welcome,” R Street Policy Analyst Zach Graves said.

R Street has been active in pointing to the need to update the Electronic Communication Privacy Act to reflect changes in communications technology over the past quarter-century. An online petition calling on the Obama administration to support ECPA reform has already gathered more than 65,000 signatures.

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