Security

Tech companies meet with the White House before President Obama releases surveillance recommendations

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Tech companies met with the White House again today in an effort to help shape surveillance reforms.

Representatives from Yahoo, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft were present, according to the New York Times, for a meeting that precedes President Obama’s anticipated proposal for surveillance changes. A number of tech companies, including Facebook and Apple, have lent their voices to this review of U.S. national security in the past.

The government and tech companies have been both teamed up and at odds since former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden revealed a number of top secret surveillance programs over the summer. The first leak exposed a data collection program called PRISM. In it, tech companies like those listed above were accused of working directly with the NSA to hand over user data. The documents, according to these tech companies, did not accurately describe the relationship.

A later leak revealed that the NSA was working around these companies, specifically Yahoo and Google, to actually tap into the fiber optic cables that run between the companies’ respective data centers. This cables, it turns out, were believed to be highly-secured but were left unencrypted.

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and a number of other companies recently came together to create the Reform Government Surveillance coalition and provided a number of ways intelligence agencies can do a better job.

The president, who struck up a review of the surveillance in the U.S. shortly after the first leaks surfaced, is expected to proposal the reforms on January 17.

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