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Thread: Cook and Other Tech Executives Urge President Obama to Sign Off on Surveillance Reform

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Cook and Other Tech Executives Urge President Obama to Sign Off on Surveillance Reform


    President Obama met with top Silicon Valley executives recently, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, to discuss digital surveillance and HealthCare.gov Web portal, with the companies urging stricter rules be applied to government-sanctioned surveillance. As previously noted, Silicon Valley big wigs visited the White House to sway the president toward more stringent oversight of the government’s spying operations according to Reuters. The meeting was initially intended to also cover the maligned HealthCare.gov website, but inside sources said the two hours were dedicated to surveillance.

    President Obama and his staff are in the middle of weighing recommendations from an outside panel’s review concerning the possible curtailing of certain government-sponsored surveillance activities. Specifically, the National Security Agency’s digital snooping initiatives that essentially made tech firms partners, perhaps unknowingly, in the data dissemination.

    In a follow-up statement to Tuesday’s meeting, the White House said President Obama conveyed to the executives present that he “will consider their input as well as the input of other outside stakeholders as we finalize our review of signals intelligence programs,” according to The Wall Street Journal. He went on to say that he believes in a free and open Internet. The tech companies said the following in a joint statement:

    We appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the president our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urge him to move aggressively on reform.
    Government contractor Edward Snowden set off a firestorm of public discontent when he previously leaked secret documents outlining the NSA’s vast intelligence operation, a good portion of which had access to sensitive user data managed by top tech firms such as Apple and Google. Once the program was out in the open, tech companies quickly went on the defensive, reassuring the public that sensitive customer information was safe. Earlier in December, Apple joined a coalition of tech companies in signing an open letter to the president and Congress asking that a dedicated set of rules be applied to NSA and law enforcement data requests as well as overall operational transparency.

    We’ll have to see what comes of the whole ordeal by being patient.

    Source: Reuters, Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    iPhoneaholic
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    Pouts has no clue on what is going on and will do just as he is told like a good house boy

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone kosher1's Avatar
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    You call that a President? Ha! Joke!!!

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    Green Apple
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    The executives should have conveyed to the president that they will consider his input.

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