Obama To Meet Tech Execs Over NSA Spying, Obamacare Website

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President Barack Obama will meet with many of Silicon Valley’s best-known executives Tuesday at the White House to discuss the troubled Healthcare.gov website and controversial surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, the administration announced.

“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,” a White House official said. “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.”

The meeting comes one day after a federal judge ruled that an NSA phone data collection program likely violates the Constitution, and one week after eight tech giants released an open letter to Obama and Congress protesting the scale of government surveillance programs. “This summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide,” AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo wrote in the letter. “The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.”

The list of those 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 & 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

8 comments
drudown
drudown

"After the event, even the fool is wise." - Viscount Symonds


I think the People need to be most concerned with the flagrant disregard of the fundamental precepts behind the Bill of Rights that are being so flagrantly subverted when the Bush Administration placed this patently illegal NSA program in place, e.g., the "reasonable expectation of privacy" that is engraved on the 4th Amendment cannot be "waived" in some boilerplate "terms of service" contained in, say, a social networking or online dating site- that is, simply because we live in newer times- any more than the purported "threat" of criminal activity in newer times justifies disregarding the Fundamental right to Privacy via State Action. Tell me, if the State could merely "hire" or "contract" with private companies acting under the color the law…what exactly is the difference in terms of the Bill of Rights' express protections being rendered a mere form of words?


The FUNCTION of the warrant requirement is to do what your metadata conspicuously tramples: the neutral and detached member of the Judiciary has to APPROVE and duly CIRCUMSCRIBE the information/communications to be searched and seized to limit violation of the People's reasonable expectation of Privacy. Funny, the Media seem to omit ANY reference to this plain meaning of the 4th Amendment but proffer some "third-party doctrine" red herring argument that has as little to do with the threshold inquiry as more recent attempts to conflate GOP declarants like Palin claiming "death panels are in the ACA" with some IPAB red herring, i.e., the IPAB has NOTHING to do with the "scienter" or "mens rea" of the declarant- they are referring to people being killed indiscriminately by the State for being old and infirm, not the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  Moreover, there is no possible "construction" of the cited "third-party exception" that (ahem) wouldn't SWALLOW the 4th Amendment. That doesn't even make logical sense, much less acknowledge the FACT the 4th Amendment is a LIMIT on State Action. 


Equally misplaced is the notion the NSA's "technical means" by which the SEARCH and SEIZURE is effectuated by the State is somehow "new" [see, Berger v. New York (1967) 388 U.S. 41 ("any search and seizure of such unlimited scope and duration- particularly without probable cause- subverts standard of reasonableness embodied in the 4th Amendment")] is therefore as inapt as the notion it is legal. 


As the Court in Berger, supra, noted, the very premise of the UNLAWFUL NSA program would improperly sanction such search and seizures "without specifying what crime has been or is being committed and without describing what conversations are to be overheard- thus failing to 'particularly [describe] the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized,' as required by the Fourth Amendment")].


Conspicuously, the FACT the Snowden disclosures PROVE that the State knowingly, deliberately and systematically MISUSED the Patriot Act to engage in WARRANTLESS Search and Seizures of LAW ABIDING Americans with no connection to criminal or terrorist activities whatsoever is actually a harbinger of a much deeper issue than meets the eye. It is a larger assault by Foreign governments trying to BRIBE the Congress and Executive branch into acquiescing into such gross subversions of our PRECEDENT that the United States is literally being WEAKENED because of such basic, petty CORRUPTION. 


"What, we have guns and badges so it's different?" - Officer Hoyt, 'Training Day'


Given that the "Decider" was the one that VIOLATED the People's Due Process and Privacy rights, at what point does the Executive branch BREACH its DUTY to the People by REFUSING to hold the lawbreakers accountable? [see, Daniels v. Williams (1986) 474 U.S. 327 ("abuse of discretion by State constitutes Due Process violation"].


“There are times when even justice brings harm with it.” - Sophocles


How is such a refusal by Congress to bring the most fundamental PROTECTIONS of our Founding Fathers' system of checks and balances within the three separate branches of government not a "deprivation" of life, liberty or property? [see, Davidson v. Cannon (1986) 474 U.S. 344]


The People's representatives in government cannot simply abrogate their FIDUCIARY DUTY to uphold the Constitution by "turning another cheek" to the NSA's UNLAWFUL conduct, much less even CONSIDER entering into the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would, inter alia, UNDULY HINDER our own SOVEREIGN RIGHT to enforce our Nation's DUE PROCESS protections (see, e.g., http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/4/a_corporate_trojan_horse_obama_pusheshttp://www.citizen.org/TPPhttp://www.exposethetpp.org/ )?
This strain of non sequitur, "blanket immunities" afforded to the SAME CORPORATIONS that are BRIBING our Congress and BOTH political parties has reached a point where it could literally kill millions and millions of United States citizens if even "allowed" to go forward, despite being UNCONSTITUTIONAL, i.e., NO TRADE AGREEMENT CAN LIMIT THE PEOPLE'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS IN THE SEVERAL STATES.
That is what such egregious subversions of Due Process (e.g., NSA program and TPP) aim to do. 

Just this: there is no such thing as "inadvertent" State Action that contravenes the express language of the Bill of Rights, e.g., "searching and seizing phone records, emails, texts and other privileged/private communications" by ANY means. There is ample case law expressly holding it is per se UNCONSTITUTIONAL. See, Scott v. United States (1978) 436 U.S. 128 ("every wiretap must be conducted in such a way as to minimize the interception of communications not otherwise subject to interception"). This NSA program is the most egregious subversion of Liberty in our Nation's History and is THE defining civil rights issue of our era- just as RECLAIMING the People's rights to have safe, POTABLE water to drink and grow crops and SAFE, REGULATED food to eat are a condition precedent to Liberty. These cannot be "contracted away" in secret TPP meetings by Halliburton and Monsanto executives any more than the "Decider" can unilaterally set fire to the Constitution, i.e., with no fear of reprisal or State retribution.
"Wiretapping is a dirty business." - Chief Justice Taft, Olmstead v. United States (1929) 277 U.S. 438.

I dissent. 


mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Lastly, as someone who works in IT for a major Fortune 500 company, I can say this President and his Administration have NO IDEA how an IT system works, and how to properly troubleshoot issues through Development/Analysis/Quality Testing/Production environments of a given landscape.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Wow, the President is only meeting NOW - just one time - with the above-listed tech execs?!  Apparently, Healthcare.gov and massive NSA spying didn't warrant such a meeting before, but (gosh darn it) that ding-dang federal court had to find the collection of data "maybe" (how decisive) unconstitutional, and that aww-schucks website just couldnt' work properly.

Only the choirgirls in the media will continue sing the President's praises on his mishandling of these issues (and print the White House-approved photos).  Those media organizations - and those dimwatts in the general public - who continue to support him at this point are monumentally devoid of any semblance of intelligence.  If they can't how much this dope masquerading as a 'leader' is screwing us over, than they deserve 3 more years of this BS.

jmac
jmac

Sam Baker:    . . . just because something is happening and Obamacare exists doesn’t mean it’s happening because Obamacare exists . . .   :

"The ACA has become the go-to scapegoat for just about everything people don't like about health care, if not in the economy overall.   The law is being blamed for trends, economic incentives, and basic realities that it did not create and that were part of the health care system long before Obama was even elected. "   

aztecian
aztecian

now the obstructionist are in trouble.  looks the power house supports the aca too!

EricLam
EricLam

stop calling us geeks!

jmac
jmac

@mrbomb13   It's a trial judge in a district court that's saying a 1979 ruling might not be legal in the age of cell phones.   Why do you think it was legal with land lines but shouldn't be legal in this day and age?   Terrorists don't use cells?