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Tech giants take a stand on NSA surveillance

Eight tech giants took a stand on mass surveillance of the companies' customers in an open letter to the government.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn said in full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major newspapers that instead of broadly surveilling Internet users, the National Security Agency should limit its investigations to known suspects. The companies also asked that they be allowed to disclose the frequency and nature of government requests for user information.

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"I think this is really more for the companies to say to its users 'Hey, we're doing everything we can to keep your data secure and you can trust us and use us for your business and use us for your personal needs ... you can trust us with your information and we're not going to turn everything over to the government,'" said Christina Warren, senior tech analyst at Mashable.

President Barack Obama recently said he'll propose changes that will give Web users more confidence in the NSA.

"I want everybody to be clear. The people at the NSA, generally, are looking out for the safety of the American people. They are not interested in reading your emails. They're not interested in reading your text messages," the president told MSNBC's Chris Matthews last week.

—By CNBC's Althea Chang

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