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Major tech companies want government to ease up on the spying

Tech companies faced a lot of criticism for their role in the Edward Snowden data collection story. Now, eight major tech companies -- Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, AOL and Twitter -- have rallied against the NSA’s spying efforts in an openly published letter.

The companies ask the Obama administration and Congress to reform the way the NSA carries out its surveillance on tech companies and data centers.

Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of All Things D, notes that this is probably an economic move.

"People especially in Europe and rest of the world are not trusting these [tech] services so it’s a worry for their businesses," says Swisher.

She also notes the irony behind this push for surveillance reform.

"[The tech companies have] been spying on us for years in order to sell things," says Swisher, "and at the same time, object to when the government is essentially using it to improve its business."

So can the companies just stick it to the man and shut off the switch for NSA snoop access?

Swisher doesn’t think so. But she does think that this united front of powerful voices is a 'mild' victory for the tech companies as "they all agreed on something and they never agree on anything."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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