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US President Meets with Tech Execs over Security Concerns

  • VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama met Friday with executives from some of the largest Internet and technology companies to discuss their concerns about privacy and government surveillance programs.

White House officials say Obama met in the oval Office with six Internet and tech executives, including Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a statement, the White House said "the president reiterated his administration's commitment to taking steps that can give people greater confidence that their rights are being protected while preserving important tools that keep us safe."

The executive did not speak to reporters after the meeting. But last week, Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page that he called Obama to express his frustration over the government's secret spying tactics.

In January, the president outlined a series of reforms for how the National Security Agency conducts data surveillance. The recommendations included changes to the NSA's collection of so-called "metadata" from communications links worldwide, as well as the direct surveillance of foreign leaders.

The president also proposed changes in the use of National Security Letters, which allow the government to seek information from persons or companies pertaining to national security. He also endorsed creation of a panel of outside advocates to represent privacy and civil liberty concerns.