Tech CEOs push Obama for more transparency over NSA demands
The Obama administration may be happy it has a new chief to direct the repairs to the HealthCare.gov website, but the bulk of Tuesday's White House meeting with tech CEOs was spent hearing calls for more transparency from government agencies demanding data collected on internet and telecom users.
Several high-level media and technology executives—including CEOs from Netflix, Apple, and Twitter — were tight-lipped as they walked out of a nearly three-hour meeting with the president, vice president and White House staff.
But a meeting participant told CNBC the group spent only the first 45 minutes talking about HeathCare.gov and some other government IT issues, without the president and vice president in the room.
Once Obama and Biden arrived the group discussed the NSA's PRISM program for the next two hours, focusing on issues such as government agencies collecting user data in bulk. They also talked about the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), and mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) reform, which involves governments sharing data across jurisdictions.
After the meeting, the companies represented issued this 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."
Few executives have made any public statements about the meeting. But Apple CEO Tim Cook did express his support for Kurt DelBene, the former Microsoft executive about to be tasked with fixing the HealthCare.gov.
"I think he'll be fantastic," Cook said on his way out of the White house, before saying he had another meeting to attend.