Western governments need to restore public trust in the internet following revelations of online surveillance made by former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden, according to Microsoft.
The technology company's vice president Brad Smith said:
We obviously all want to live in a secure world but we all want to live in a world as well where security is balanced with personal freedom and privacy.
We recognise that information technology is a powerful tool for individuals but people won't use technology they don't trust. In our view governments have put that trust at risk. Governments need to help restore it.
Eight of the world's largest technology firms are to publish an open letter to US President Barack Obama today calling for greater regulation of online data collection by intelligence agencies, the Guardian reports.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL have all thrown their weight behind a package of reforms being debated in Congress.
They warn that the ongoing disclosures by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden risk undermining public "trust in the internet," the Guardian reports.
"The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual – rights that are enshrined in our constitution,” the letter reportedly says.