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News Link • Surveillance

Tech’s biggest players hire first NSA lobbyist

 The new hire — tasked to represent a coalition that also includes AOL, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo — is a big political move for an industry that initially had tried to avoid the debate over the National Security Agency. Tech companies recently have become more engaged, however, as they discover they have serious business interests at stake.
The so-called “Reform Government Surveillance” coalition hired Monument Policy Group, a firm that already represents Microsoft and LinkedIn individually. The group filed its formal lobbying registration Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter — but the official document has not yet been posted online.
The coalition of companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With each leak from Edward Snowden — who unleashed a trove of documents exposing the U.S. government’s programs to monitor phone call logs and Internet chats, break Web encryption and tap into overseas data cables — Silicon Valley increasingly has opened up in Washington.

The industry has endeavored to demonstrate it is not complicit with the NSA — criticism that’s especially prevalent in Europe, where tech companies could be subject to new privacy rules that increase their costs of business.

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