Tech giants' anti-NSA group grows

The Web storage company Dropbox is joining Google, Facebook, Apple and other tech companies in lobbying to rein in the National Security Agency (NSA).

Dropbox announced on Friday it was joining the Reform Governent Surveillance coalition, bringing its total membership to nine.

“We believe strongly in the principles outlined by the Reform Government Surveillance coalition and look forward to working with these leading companies to push for meaningful surveillance reform,” the company said in a statement.

Microsoft, LinkedIn, AOL, Twitter and Yahoo round out the organization.

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Dropbox is the first new member since the group was launched in December as a way to put aside business rivalries and push for surveillance reforms. In a national print advertisement at the time, the groups claimed there was an “urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide.” 

Tech companies and trade groups have said revelations that the American government has collected information about people’s phone calls and online communications have hurt their businesses and made consumers less willing to trust them.

The coalition has increased its push in recent weeks, since President Obama announced a handful of reforms to the NSA and other agencies in January. 

Earlier this month the coalition announced the hiring of its first lobbying firm, Monument Policy Group, to push Congress to make additional changes to the NSA. Aside from the lobbyist, the Reform Government Surveillance has no other central coordination or leadership. 

The coalition also recently signed onto an online protest to urge Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would rein in many of the NSA’s contentious programs and end its bulk collection of records about people’s phone calls.

The bill from Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the original author of the Patriot Act, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has received broad bipartisan support from lawmakers in both chambers of Congress but has been stalled in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees for months.