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Activists fight against gov't surveillance with StopWatching.Us

A group of 86 organizations and Internet companies is backing a movement to fight against government surveillance with the launch of a new website called StopWatching.Us.

Fight for the Future, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reddit, Mozilla and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) say they've sent a letter to Congress demanding an investigation into the recent allegations of global surveillance.

The open letter posted on the website reads, "this type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy." The groups call for reform of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the "business records" section and the FISA Amendments Act.

"We need a full public accounting of how the United States is turning sophisticated spying technology on its own citizens, we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again," Mark Rumold, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a statement.

Last week, the Guardian reported that the government had obtained the phone records of all Verizon customers. The British newspaper, along with the Washington Post, later reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI have a direct line to the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple -- as part of a surveillance program called PRISM.

All of the companies denied being part of a government surveillance program that allowed direct access to its servers. Google went so far as to release several statements and an open letter to U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller, asking permission from the government to publish requests that are barred by nondisclosure agreements.

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