SANTA CLARA (KCBS)— Google, Facebook, Apple and other major tech companies are teaming up to demand that the government reform its digital surveillance programs with an open letter to the president.

The Silicon Valley heavyweights asked President Obama for tighter controls on the National Security Agency (NSA), which the companies have said go overboard with digital spying.

Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the American University of Washington College of Law, said this strategy comes just as Congress debates reforming the NSA.

“A real push from the tech sector could actually have a far stronger influence on the shape of those reforms and on the likelihood that Congress will actually pass those reforms, than the push that has been undertaken so far from civil-liberties groups,” Vladeck said.

The letter was prompted by revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who leaked details on the secret programs that critics say violate privacy rights.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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