Zynga chief Mark Pincus asked President Barack Obama to pardon Edward Snowden, the contractor who leaked details about the extensive warrantless surveillance conducted by National Security Agency, according to anonymous sources cited by CNN.
Pincus’ request reflects Silicon Valley’s sense of betrayal around the broad NSA spying program that Snowden revealed. The revelations have shocked Americans and created tense relations between the government and tech companies such as Google and Yahoo, whose vast data sources were evidently tapped by the NSA without permission. Cisco has said it could lose overseas customers due to the fears of further unauthorized surveillance.
Officially, Zynga declined comment. We confirmed that Pincus made the request with an unnamed source. The move isn’t out of character for Pincus, who cares about a variety of issues beyond the social and mobile games that his San Francisco company makes.
Snowden is in Russia under temporary asylum, and U.S. authorities want him returned to stand trial for charges associated with the leaks. According to the Washington Post, Obama said he could not grant the pardon.
Senior executives from AT&T, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Facebook were among those in attendance at a meeting with Obama on Tuesday.