Top executives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, LinkedIn and Twitter all joined together in a protest on Tuesday against U.S. government's spying programs. They want to urge more limits on collections of Americans' electronic data and changes that would include a government agreement not to collect bulk data from Internet communications. The coalition of tech companies wrote a letter to President Obama and Congress encouraging them to help reform Government surveillance.
The tech companies called the movement "The Day We Fight Back," urging Americans to write and call members of Congress in protest.
Google CEO Larry Page said on the coalition's site that the security of users' electronic data
"is undermined by the apparent wholesale collection of data, in secret and without independent oversight, by many governments around the world. It's time for reform and we urge the U.S. government to lead the way."
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the Snowden revelations "have shaken the trust of our users." She urged Congress to
"change surveillance laws in order to ensure transparency and accountability for government actions."
The remarks by Zuckerberg, Page and Mayer were echoed by statements from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and LinkedIn General Counsel Erika Rottenberg.
But the White House seems to differ. Spokeswoman for the White House, Caitlin Hayden said later that Obama's plans for limited surveillance changes
"help chart a path forward that should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, while preserving important tools that keep us safe."
The day-long protest claimed backers had sent 104,000 emails, made nearly 50,000 calls to Congress and more than 6,000 web entities. But, conspicuously, Verizon and AT&T, two major U.S. phone service providers that turn over bulk customer data to the NSA every day, did not join in either.
Obama has committed to the involvement of a panel of public advocates in some proceedings of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which oversees electronic spying operations. But under Obama's proposal, the advocates would have limited ability to intervene.
During a White House appearance Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande, Obama said his administration is
"committed to making sure that we are protecting and concerned about the privacy rights of not just Americans, not just our own citizens, but of people around the world, as well."Doesn't sound like the President thinks this is something that needs reforming. Let's see where this goes..