Major technology firms urge changes to US spying; part of day of protest of US surveillance

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WASHINGTON – A coalition of the nation’s leading technology firms is urging changes in the government’s spying programs.

It’s pressing for more limits on collections of Americans’ data and greater oversight and transparency about the secret operations. The companies’ action joins a day of protests against the Obama administration’s surveillance policies.

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 urges changes that would include a government agreement not to collect bulk data from Internet communications.

Media accounts based on leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden reported that the U.S. and the United Kingdom intercept massive amounts of metadata abroad from foreign users and sometimes from Americans.

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