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+ - Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts to Divert Discussion From NSA

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Guardian reports that while President Obama tried to portray a meeting with tech leaders as a wide-ranging discussion of broader priorities including ways of improving the functionality of the troubled health insurance website,, senior executives from Apple, Yahoo, Google, Comcast, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Netflixs said they were determined to keep the discussion focused on the NSA. “We are there to talk about the NSA,” said one executive who was briefed on the company’s agenda before the event. After meeting Obama and vice president Joe Biden for two-and-a-half hours, the companies issued a one-line 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." Many of the senior tech leaders had already made public their demand for sweeping surveillance reforms in an open letter that specifically called for a ban on the kind of bulk data collection that a federal judge ruled on Monday was probably unlawful. Eric Schmidt, of Google, opened the meeting and laid out industry officials' concerns. Obama seemed sympathetic to the idea of allowing more disclosure of government surveillance requests by technology companies, according to a tech industry official who was briefed on the meeting. Marissa Mayer, of Yahoo!, brought up concerns about the potentially negative impact that could be caused if countries, such as Brazil, move forward with legislation that would require service providers to ensure that data belonging to a citizen of a certain country remain in the country it originates, the official said. That would require technology companies to build data centers in each country — a costly problem for American Internet companies. The decision by the tech giants to press their case in such a public and unified way poses a problem for the White House. The industry is an increasingly influential voice in Washington, a vital part of the US economy and many of its most successful leaders are prominent Democratic political donors."
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Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts to Divert Discussion From NSA

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