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Goliath vs. Goliath: Why tech giants can’t break the surveillance state

An epic showdown is shaping up: Goliath vs. Goliath. Tech giants vs. the intelligence community. Or at least that's one way of looking at joint efforts this week by Silicon Valley leviathans, including Google, Yahoo and Facebook, calling for an end to mass NSA surveillance programs. While agreeing that efforts to rein in the NSA's unbounded data collection are necessary, I'd suggest that even robust reforms to NSA practices would not dismantle the surveillance state. Furthermore, shifting national security practices away from a model of preemptive, dragnet surveillance is not just a practical challenge -- it's an ideological battle.

Eight major tech firms (with a combined value of $1.4 trillion) penned an open letter Monday disavowing the NSA's dragnet spy programs and demanding greater transparency. "This is a major game-changer,” Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an advocacy group, told the Guardian.

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