Tech giants, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, call for controls on gov't snooping, spying

LONDON - Eight major tech giants have called for tighter controls on government surveillance, joining forces to argue there should be reforms in the way the United States snoops on people.

The companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, issued an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, saying that while governments have a duty to protect citizens, recent revelations have "highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide."

The letter published Monday said: "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual -- rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."

The letter follow revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of the secret programs that critics say violate privacy rights.

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