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

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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.

In addition to its Reform Government Surveillance supporters, the protest effort was also backed by other tech firms, such as Tumblr, Mozilla and Reddit. The day-long protest claimed support from 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.

The tech coalition also hired a lobbyist to handle the group's interests in Washington. The Washington lobbying firm Monument Policy Group LLC filed a formal lobbying registration last week with Congress, citing the coalition as its client.

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