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Technology firms urge changes to US spying

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WASHINGTON — A coalition of the nation’s leading technology firms joined an international protest Tuesday against the US government’s spying programs, urging more limits on collections of Americans’ electronic data and greater oversight and transparency about the secret operations.

Top executives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, LinkedIn, and Twitter published a joint statement and sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress. The coalition of tech firms, known as Reform Government Surveillance, urged changes that would include a government agreement not to collect bulk data from Internet communications.

Technology companies expressed outrage last year after media accounts based on leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed that the United States and Britain intercept massive amounts of electronic Web metadata abroad from foreign computer users and sometimes from Americans.

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