Policy

Tech Execs Urge Obama to Reform Info Collection

Follows Meeting at White House over Number of Issues; Comcast's Brian Roberts among Those at Table 12/17/2013 5:48 PM Eastern

Technology and communications company exec's, including Comcast’s Brian Roberts, met with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday (Dec. 17) to discuss NSA surveillance and other issues. The President pledged his support for an open Internet.

Following the meeting, they released the following 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."

The White House described the meeting as a chance to discuss a number of issues of shared importance to the federal government and the tech sector, including the progress being made to improve performance and capacity issues with HeathCare.Gov.

"[T]he group discussed the national security and economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures," said the White House press office. "This was an opportunity for the President to hear from CEOs directly as we near completion of our review of signals intelligence programs, building on the feedback we’ve received from the private sector in recent weeks and months. 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."

Online and computer tech powerhouses last week joined to propose new limits on government surveillance, including the kind of data collection transparency and limits members of Congress are usually calling for from them.

During the photo op following the meeting, the President can be heard asking a Netflix exec if he had brought an advance copy of House of Cards, about a ruthless Congressman--A House of Cards satire featuring Kevin Spacey ( said Congressman, Frank Underwood) was prominently featured at this year's White House Correspondence Association.

The President continued that he said he wished things were as "ruthlessly efficient" in real life as on the show, saying of Spacey's character: “This guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.”

November