President Obama to meet with Tim Cook, other tech execs over NSA and HealthCare.gov

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook will join a who's who of Silicon Valley executives at the White House on Tuesday to address concerns regarding state-sanctioned surveillance operations, as well issues plaguing the President's online healthcare initiative, HealthCare.gov.

PRISM


News of the meeting comes on the heels of an open letter addressed to President Obama and Congress, in which Apple and a group of tech giants threw their substantial weight behind reform and regulation policies regarding digital surveillance. Companies that signed the letter included AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo, among others.

Word of the high-level meeting was first communicated by Time. The publication noted one of the main topics of discussion will be controversial surveillance operations headed by federal bodies like the National Security Agency.

"Tomorrow, President Obama will meet with executives from leading tech companies 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," said an unnamed White House official. "The meeting will also address national security and the economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures. Finally, the President will discuss ways his Administration can partner with the tech sector to further grow the economy, create jobs and address issues around income inequality and social mobility."

In all, 15 executives are planning on attending the meeting:
  • 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 & Chairman, Zynga
  • Shervin Pishevar, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Sherpa Global
  • Brian Roberts, Chairman & 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 & CEO, AT&T
Following government contractor Edward Snowden's leaks to the press about various spying operations being conducted on U.S. soil, technology companies have pushed for transparency about how the NSA and law enforcement agencies mines digital data. Specifically, the firms want better oversight of government requests for sensitive consumer data, which were made in the name of national security.

As for the president's healthcare plan, dubbed "Obamacare," the system rolled out just a short time ago has seen a number of stumbling blocks, including confusion between insurance providers and the fed's online marketplace, backend bugs and public dissatisfaction with the service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41

    Following government contractor Edward Snowden's leaks to the press about various spying operations being conducted on U.S. soil

     

    First order of business, declare Snowden a whistleblower, not a traitor. US judge says NSA phone data snooping probably illegal (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ipFVPupBzd5AYGQjWzJ_1mZutlPQ?docId=f2161cf3-a8da-4955-b2e7-6737f275a5ad)

  • Reply 2 of 41
  • Reply 3 of 41
    ipenipen Posts: 410member

    Now these 15 execs will secretly team up with the NSA to enhance the data collection and mining.  The day of open internet is gone...

  • Reply 4 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ipen wrote: »
    Now these 15 execs will secretly team up with the NSA to enhance the data collection and mining.  The day of open internet is gone...

    Source?
  • Reply 5 of 41
    This time, they included Microsoft, LOL. Unlike that dinner party.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Now I know why we all got that email that said Microsoft would pay you to forward it - that was really the NSA testing their ability to monitor all internet traffic with Microsoft's help.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    ipen wrote: »
    Now these 15 execs will secretly team up with the NSA to enhance the data collection and mining.  The day of open internet is gone...
    yes, because Etsy and Zynga bring a lot to that discussion.

    Troll troll troll your boat....
  • Reply 8 of 41

    I could've sworn McAfee was supposed to fix everything!

     

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101128689

     

    :p

  • Reply 9 of 41
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,024member

    I guess Zuckerberg wasn't invited, but Zynga was?  Weird.

  • Reply 10 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,017member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     

     

    First order of business, declare Snowden a whistleblower, not a traitor. US judge says NSA phone data snooping probably illegal (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ipFVPupBzd5AYGQjWzJ_1mZutlPQ?docId=f2161cf3-a8da-4955-b2e7-6737f275a5ad)


     

    Agreed. Obama has a golden opportunity to live up to the promise he made in 2007. He really has been nothing short of the biggest disappointment for potential change I've ever seen in politics. Remember when the media were branding him the next kennedy? Lol.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,079member
    ireland wrote: »
    Agreed. Obama has a golden opportunity to live up to the promise he made in 2007. He really has been nothing short of the biggest disappointment for potential change I've ever seen in politics. Remember when the media were branding him the next kennedy? Lol.

    I doubt the President or anyone else could have foreseen the rise of the anarchist Tea Party back then. At least the GOP seem to have awakened to the danger within. This isn't meant as political, rather historical observation by a Brit in the USA.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    nhtnht Posts: 4,039member
    ireland wrote: »
    Agreed. Obama has a golden opportunity to live up to the promise he made in 2007. He really has been nothing short of the biggest disappointment for potential change I've ever seen in politics. Remember when the media were branding him the next kennedy? Lol.

    Kennedy was much more flawed as a President. Still one of my favorites for speeches and pushing for the exploration of space.

    Had Kennedy not been assassinated I think that history would have judged him far more harshly.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,148moderator
    "Tomorrow, President Obama will meet with executives from leading tech companies 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," said an unnamed White House official.

    Good plan, they should have done this a while ago. Collectively, these companies probably account for the majority of the world's website traffic. Google has managed over 1 billion unique hits in a month. Instead, they outsourced it to a Canadian company CGI Federal:

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/17/4848298/the-story-behind-the-company-contracted-to-make-the-buggy-healthcare
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/11/27/what_did_cgi_federal_get_wrong_with_healthcare_gov.html

    They appear to have about double the number of employees as Google but the project was clearly too much for them. I don't see why it really has to be managed by a single company. They could have contracted separate companies in each state with separate servers. The main site would just act as a site to direct people to their state site and the databases would all be separate. If needs be, they'd sync the databases centrally every so often.
    "The meeting will also address national security and the economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures. Finally, the President will discuss ways his Administration can partner with the tech sector to further grow the economy, create jobs and address issues around income inequality and social mobility."

    Yeah, let's hear what all these millionaires and billionaires think about income inequality and social mobility.

    There aren't easy answers to these issues, especially from people who have been successful because many think that it comes naturally from their hard work. For every success that happens, there are hundreds/thousands of people trying just as hard and don't make it. There was a story about a graffiti artist who painted the walls at Facebook and was paid in stock:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095385/Facebook-IPO-Graffiti-artist-David-Choe-painted-HQ-set-bumper-shares-payday.html

    How many artists across the world do the same thing and those companies don't take off? The difference in reward for the same job is based on nothing but chance.

    Look at how many Android device manufacturers there are and Samsung takes all the money. I think it's in part because people tend towards simple options. We don't have time for all the in-betweens, we want black/white, good/bad, hero/villain. Look at comic books, you don't get anyone called mediocre-man helping someone who has fallen on hard times by paying their utility bill, it has to be superman saving someone from something life-threatening. We only want as many big names as we can remember for each industry, preferably two per sector maximum:

    mobile hardware - Apple/Samsung
    mobile software - Apple/Google
    desktop software - Apple/Microsoft
    desktop hardware - Apple/HP/Dell/Lenovo, a bit too many but we'll see what happens
    burgers - McDonalds/Burger King
    pizza - Domino's/Pizza Hut
    online retail - Amazon/eBay/Etsy
    social - Facebook/Twitter

    You get the idea, very few brands that people want to succeed. That stunts economic growth because small companies have so much to fight against and have no means to do it. These big companies don't pay the full tax rates. While they pay more money, it's the rates that matter because it's about margins. Small companies paying higher rates can't have competitive margins so that they can invest it in growth, unlike the big companies. The capital to grow small companies has to come from investment from wealthy people who then become even wealthier if the companies take off. Rich becoming richer = income inequality again.

    To encourage economic growth and fix income inequality, this needs to be almost flipped upside down. The big companies need to be punished harshly for not paying the full tax rates. Small companies need every incentive and tax break they can get so that they can grow and employ people locally. The problem is that so many companies become successful because they are centralized all-in-one companies and want to manage everything and that ties in with our desire for simplicity.

    One of the biggest issues I think there is for individuals concerning social mobility is matching people with fulfilling jobs. Everybody has their own rough idea of what they enjoy and employers know what jobs need to be done but they very rarely match up because a lot of jobs just aren't rewarding (I don't mean financially). This has to tie in with education. So many educational institutions are out of touch with employers that students just don't get the training for real jobs. In part this is due to how quickly industry changes but education still doesn't adapt to it.

    Now, let's say that someone gets the training, gets the opportunity to use it, that has to be a recipe for success. But no, if you take the example of the App Store with almost no barriers to entry, this is still a system that's setup to promote the few at the expense of the many:

    http://www.whiteboardmag.com/the-one-percent-winner-take-all-web-positioning/

    Social mobility can't happen when this is the setup. So what's the solution then? People will say communism/socialism doesn't work, people have to live and die by their efforts, there needs to be incentive and reward for success and lack of it for failure. That's great when you're one of the few who benefit from it but increasingly, the inequality is growing and larger and larger numbers of people are feeling that work/life is designed to be weighted against them in order to benefit the winners no matter how hard they try.

    Financial institutions share a lot of the blame. They have done untold damage to the economy and the media coverage of it has blown over. Everybody is tied into a system of debt-creation that's going to keep growing and when the people in control decide there's not enough profit, just up everyone's interest rates for mortgages, credit cards, loans etc. Debt is a non-issue to wealthy people, it's a device to keep the poor working harder than they should and why they need more healthcare than they should and it's ideal for the wealthy that this happens as it creates a class of desperate workers that do unrewarding jobs for them.

    The issues don't fit into bullet-points, people are too complex. The solutions certainly don't. There needs to be a radical overhaul of how business functions, how our monetary system functions and is controlled and the mentality that it's only the right of the few to live a rewarding life.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    @ireland "Agreed. Obama has a golden opportunity to live up to the promise he made in 2007. He really has been nothing short of the biggest disappointment for potential change I've ever seen in politics. Remember when the media were branding him the next kennedy? Lol."

    You seem to miss what's really going on here, and what has been going on since the very, very beginning. Obama didn't lie about his intentions. And he didn't fail to keep his promises. He made it very clear from the very beginning that he would change the very face of this nation. He has done it. What's that? You say you don't like it? Well then, might I insist that politicians and their frightening tenacity to meddle is not the godsend and magic bullet everyone today believes it is. Might I suggest we go back to our roots, choosing politicians who have one focus and one focus only: leaving us the hell alone. If they want to enact laws that further enable that behavior societally, then great.

    But man, with millions of laws on the books (http://www.searchamelia.com/land-of-40627-laws-and-regulations-more), the US legal system has officially jumped the shark. In fact, we've jumped the factory that made the jacket that Fonzie donned when he jumped the shark. We're talking multi-level shark-jumping here. Something needs to change. I vote for Liberty.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    ireland wrote: »
    Agreed. Obama has a golden opportunity to live up to the promise he made in 2007. He really has been nothing short of the biggest disappointment for potential change I've ever seen in politics. Remember when the media were branding him the next kennedy? Lol.
    Kennedy couldn't have gotten half of what Obama has gotten accomplished in the face of the greatest obstructionism in the history of the country.
    Fact is, Kennedy couldn't have gotten his own civil rights legislation through. It took Johnson to do that.
    What I don't understand is how Obama keeps his cool the way he does. Pretty amazing IMO.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,811member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ipen View Post

     

    Now these 15 execs will secretly team up with the NSA to enhance the data collection and mining.  The day of open internet is gone...


    If it gets you off the Internet I’m all for it.

  • Reply 17 of 41
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    macwise wrote: »

    You seem to miss what's really going on here, and what has been going on since the very, very beginning. Obama didn't lie about his intentions. And he didn't fail to keep his promises. He made it very clear from the very beginning that he would change the very face of this nation. He has done it. What's that? You say you don't like it? Well then, might I insist that politicians and their frightening tenacity to meddle is not the godsend and magic bullet everyone today believes it is. Might I suggest we go back to our roots, choosing politicians who have one p
    But man, with millions of laws on the books (http://www.searchamelia.com/land-of-40627-laws-and-regulations-more), the US legal system has officially jumped the shark. In fact, we've jumped the factory that made the jacket that Fonzie donned when he jumped the shark. We're talking multi-level shark-jumping here. Something needs to change. I vote for Liberty.

    Ah yes... The 'liberty' to die impoverished from medical bills for lack of insurance.
    There is no 'freedom' in poverty.
    I do find Silicon Valley libertarians amusing though, as the delude themselves into believing they bootstrapped their fortunes, when they actually owe their entire careers to work built entirely on that dreaded government investment.
  • Reply 18 of 41

    Cook should tell Obama that he's busy with Bromwich.

     

    This government is a damn waste of corporate time.

  • Reply 19 of 41
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member

    What's AT&T doing there?  :???:

  • Reply 20 of 41
    I doubt the President or anyone else could have foreseen the rise of the anarchist Tea Party back then. At least the GOP seem to have awakened to the danger within. This isn't meant as political, rather historical observation by a Brit in the USA.

    The administration bungled its chance when Democrats had majorities in both houses for two years, before the Tea Party had any influence. The administration had a one-issue plan, and the president expended all his political capital on it.
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