Obama to meet with tech CEOs on NSA, HealthCare.gov issues

By Sooraj Shah
17 Dec 2013 View Comments

President Obama is to meet with senior technology executives today, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Twitter's Dick Costolo, to discuss the US government's IT procurement strategy and the country's regulations surrounding surveillance.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will also be present at the meeting, which comes just a day after a federal judge ruled that the National Security Agency's (NSA) collection of data of US citizens' telephone calls was "unconstitutional". 

Further reading

Many of the companies who are represented at the meeting have moved to distance themselves from the US government after a report from the Washington Post claimed that US authorities had been actively aided in surveillance activities by Microsoft, Skype, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, Apple and PalTalk.

Eight companies, including Google, Apple and Microsoft, have formed a group dubbed 'Reform Government Surveillance' in a bid to reform the laws regulating government surveillance of individuals and access to their information in the US.

Today's meeting will enable President Obama to discuss his administration's approach to national security. 

Another major talking point at the meeting will be the HealthCare.gov website, which has been marred with bugs and issues since its launch.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude recently suggested that the botched introduction of Obamacare online was further proof that the UK had been successful with its digital project.

"Obamacare launched to universal criticism and a lot of the commentary said 'Why didn't they do what the British government is doing - the Government Digital Services (GDS) approach?' - they did it the old-fashioned way," he said.

A White House official told the Washington Post that the president plans "to discuss progress made in addressing performance and capacity issues with HealthCare.Gov and how government can better deliver IT to maximize innovation, efficiency and customer service".

Here's the full list of technology executives expected to attend:

• Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
• Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
• Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy
• Reed Hastings, co-founder & CEO, Netflix
• Drew Houston, founder & CEO, Dropbox
• Marissa Mayer, president and CEO, Yahoo
• Burke Norton, chief legal officer, Salesforce
• Mark Pincus, founder, chief product officer and chairman, Zynga
• Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and co-CEO, Sherpa Global
• Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast
• Erika Rottenberg, vice president, general counsel and secretary, LinkedIn
• Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
• Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google
• Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft
• Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO, AT&T 

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