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U.S. tech executives press Obama on NSA surveillance

English.news.cn   2013-12-18 06:50:15            

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Executives of leading tech companies on Tuesday pressed U.S. President Barack Obama to "move aggressively" to scale back the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance practice.

The executives of the high-tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and AT&T, met with Obama in the White House on Tuesday afternoon.

"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, " the companies said in a brief joint statement after the meeting.

The meeting was an opportunity for Obama to "hear from CEOs directly" on the companies' concerns about the intelligence programs, as the Obama administration is near completion of a review of the programs, said the White House in a released statement.

"The President made clear his belief in an open, free, and innovative internet and listened to the group's concerns and recommendations, and 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," said the White House.

The White House tried to highlight the meeting as a chance for the president to talk about improving the performance and capacity of the Healthcare.gov, a key online marketplace for the health care overhaul, particularly after its error-ridden rollout.

Obama also announced that Kurt Delbene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office Division, will succeed Jeff Zients to lead the efforts to improve the Healthcare.gov website.

Earlier this month, eight leading U.S. tech companies, including Google and Facebook, banded together for damage control and regaining consumer trust, asking the U.S. government to limit its data snooping programs in an open letter.

The tech companies have been under fire for their roles in the NSA's surveillance programs, following the leaks of former defense contractor Edward Snowden in June.


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BRASILIA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), has offered to help Brazil investigate the extent of NSA's spying against the South American country in an open letter published Tuesday.

The letter, addressed to "the people of Brazil" and expected to be sent to authorities there, was published by Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, which had previously run articles on the NSA's activities in Brazil, based on documents revealed by Snowden.  Full story

NSA domestic phone program likely unconstitutional: U.S. federal judge

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records is likely unconstitutional.

This is a first significant legal setback for the secret intelligence surveillance program since it was first revealed by defense contractor Edward Snowden in June.    Full story

Russia calls on int'l community to keep focus on Snowden's revelations

MOSCOW, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Friday called on the international community to remain focused on the problems highlighted by the information made public by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The information that the former National Security Agency (NSA) employee leaked could be just a tip of the iceberg, said Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights commissioner, Konstantin Dolgov, in a comment published on the ministry's website. Full story


Editor: Yamei Wang
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