What Is NSA Surveillance Doing to Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg Complains Via Status Update, Will Meet With President Barack Obama
More than a week after Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg phoned President Barack Obama to voice his frustrations regarding the recent surveillance scandal at the NSA, the social media mogul was invited to the White House on Friday to discuss Americans' privacy concerns and NSA reform.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Palantir CEO Alexander Karp and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston were also asked to join the discussion, Politico reports.
Friday's meeting stressed the 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," according to the White House.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, top counselor John Podesta and key NSA and counterterrorism officials joined President Obama and his esteemed guests at Friday's meeting.
In addition to Zuckerberg's scathing phone call to the president, the billionaire entrepreneur lamented his concerns on his personal Facebook Wall, stating the government caused damage to the industry.
Following the meeting, a Facebook spokesperson issued a statement addressing Zuckerberg's displeasure with the government's sub-par efforts to reform its surveillance methods.
"While the U.S. Government has taken helpful steps to reform its surveillance practices, these are simply not enough," the spokesperson said. "People around the globe deserve to know that their information is secure and Facebook will keep urging the U.S. Government to be more transparent about its practices and more protective of civil liberties."
Friday's discussion marked the second time in about four months the president has asked to speak with technology CEOs regarding the NSA scandal and protecting the rights of U.S. citizens.
Following the fallout from Edward Snowden's leaks that NSA officials were warrantlessly spying on American citizens, some foreign nations and corporations are thinking twice before going into business with American tech companies.
Information Technology Industry Council President Dean Garfield said many U.S. companies fear that Europe, Brazil, India and other major markets could impose trade restrictions upon them.
"In response to the NSA disclosures, there has been an acceleration across the globe of economically harmful polices," Garfield said, adding it's "imperative that Congress and the administration show their leadership by helping to repair trust."
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