President Barack Obama is inviting executives including Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Tim Cook and Yahoo! Inc.’s Marissa Mayer for a discussion tomorrow about the government’s information-technology stumbles and the impact on business of disclosure about U.S. spying, the White House said.
The meeting is being held as the National Security Agency’s sweep of Internet and telephone data is coming under increased scrutiny from Congress and the courts and as Obama is weighing new limits on such surveillance.
Apple and Yahoo were among the signatories of a letter to Obama and lawmakers earlier this month urging the U.S. to lead changes in government surveillance practices after revelations the NSA gained access to private networks to conduct spying. The disclosures have potential implications for U.S. technology companies’ international business.
A federal judge today said the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata is probably illegal, allowing a lawsuit claiming it violates the U.S. Constitution to go forward.
Obama has received a classified report from an advisory committee that recommended the government continue collecting bulk records on every U.S. phone call with new restrictions to protect privacy, according to an administration official familiar with the report.
Also set to attend the meeting, according to the White House are: Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google Inc.; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc.; Dick Costolo, chief executive officer of Twitter Inc.; and Brad Smith, general counsel at Microsoft Corp. The companies also signed on to the statement on curbing government surveillance.
The other companies represented include AT&T Inc., Etsy Inc., Netflix Inc., Dropbox Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., Zynga Inc., Sherpa Global, Comcast Corp. and LinkedIn Corp.
One of the topics for meeting will be progress in making fixes to the website that is the centerpiece of the president’s health-care law, according to the White House. After being plagued by outages and errors after its Oct. 1 debut, the administration enlisted engineers and programs from technology companies to help repair the site.
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