Tech leaders challenge Obama over NSA surveillance at White House meeting

“A White House meeting meant to get technology executives’ recommendations on was pushed towards a debate over surveillance, The Guardian reports,” Adi Robertson reports for The Verge. “Sources from the meeting, which included Apple’s Tim Cook, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Eric Schmidt among others, say that the White House declared it would focus on the insurance site. ‘That is not going to happen,’ one executive reportedly responded. ‘We are there to talk about the NSA.'”

“This declaration is in line with previous attempts to force the Obama administration’s hand on intelligence community reform: Yahoo, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and more have filed lawsuits or supporting briefs against NSA surveillance, and last week, a tech company coalition released an open letter to the White House calling for change,” Robertson reports. “What isn’t mentioned is how President Obama responded to these concerns during the meeting, or what was specifically discussed — absent details, it’s primarily good company PR and a push for the administration to speed reform.”

“In a release after the fact, the White House said that it ‘made clear that we will consider their input as well as the input of other outside stakeholders as we finalize our review of signals intelligence programs,'” Robertson reports. “A statement from the companies involved, meanwhile, said that ‘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.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: United States Constitution, Amendment IV:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Visit today.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Obama to face Apple CEO Tim Cook, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, other tech execs pressing for NSA limits – December 17, 2013
U.S. federal Judge: NSA phone surveillance program likely violates Fourth Amendment of U.S. Constitution – December 16, 2013
U.S. NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking – December 11, 2013
Apple, Google, others call for government surveillance reform – December 9, 2013
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Obama administration decides NSA spying is ‘essential,’ but oversight of NSA is not – October 8, 2013
Apple’s iPhone 5s with Touch ID seen as protection against U.S. NSA – September 16, 2013
German government: Windows 8 contains U.S. NSA snooping back doors; too dangerous to use – August 23, 2013
Report: NSA can see 75% of U.S. Web traffic, can snare emails – August 21, 2013
NSA can read email, online chats, track Web browsing without warrant, documents leaked by Edward Snowden show – July 31, 2013
Momentum builds against U.S. government surveillance – July 29, 2013
U.S. House rejects effort to curb NSA surveillance powers, 205-217 – July 24, 2013
Obama administration scrambles to shut down imminent U.S. House vote to defund NSA spying – July 24, 2013
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
Apple, Google, dozens of others push Obama administration to disclose U.S. surveillance requests – July 19, 2013
Secret court agrees to allow Yahoo to reveal its fight against U.S. government PRISM requests – July 16, 2013
How Microsoft handed U.S. NSA, FBI, CIA access to users’ encrypted video, audio, and text communications – July 11, 2013
DuckDuckGo search engine surges 33% in wake of PRISM scandal – June 20, 2013
Yahoo: Since December 2012, we have received up to 13,000 U.S. gov’t requests for customer data – June 18, 2013
Apple: Since December 2012, we have received U.S. gov’t requests for customer data for up to 10,000 accounts – June 17, 2013
Nine companies, including Apple, tied to PRISM, Obama to be smacked with class-action lawsuit – June 12, 2013
U.S. lawmakers urge review of ‘Prism’ domestic spying, Patriot Act – June 10, 2013
PRISM: Do Apple, Google, Facebook have an ethical obligation not to spy on users? – June 8, 2013
Plausible deniability: The strange and unbelievable similarities in the Apple, Google, and Facebook PRISM denials – June 7, 2013
Google’s Larry Page on government eavesdropping: ‘We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday’ – June 7, 2013
Seecrypt app lets iPhone, Android users keep voice calls, text messages away from carriers, government eyes and ears – June 7, 2013
Obama administration defends PRISM data-collection as legal anti-terrorism tool – June 7, 2013
Facebook, Google, Yahoo join Apple in sort-of denying PRISM involvement – June 7, 2013
Report: Intelligence program gives U.S. government direct access to customer data on Apple servers; Apple denies – June 6, 2013


  1. How come the NRA was not invited? How come we don’t hear anything from them on this matter? Don’t they keep declaring how concerned they are about our Constitutional rights? Oh, I forgot, they are working to get everyone armed so they can defend themselves from the government that intrudes on their lives. Ah, don’t think that arming thing is working too well. But you can be pretty sure that intrusive government knows who has all the guns.

  2. Obama: Worst approval ratings since Nixon; even Carter had better numbers

    Barack Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday.

    Obama’s approval rating in the poll stands at 43%. By comparison, President George W. Bush had a 47% approval rating at the end of the fifth year of his presidency. And all other Post-World War II presidents had approval ratings above 50% — with the exception of Nixon, who, amid the Watergate scandal, had a dreadful 29% approval rating.

    Earlier this month, Obama’s average approval rating, according to Real Clear Politics, slipped below 40% for the first time in his presidency.

  3. MND, please, please stop using the Benjamin Franklin quote.. it is taken out of context!!! If you insist on using it, please copy and paste the whole letter written to then, the Govern of Penn!

  4. Quoting the American Constitution these days is like saying “None Shall Pass.”

    Unless of course you are in the bathroom, then everyone knows you are just reading while having a dump.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.