Microsoft Exec to Discuss NSA Snooping with President Obama

Brad Smith will join a meeting with several tech executives and Barack Obama

By Bogdan Popa on December 17th, 2013 08:47 GMT

NSA’s online surveillance program remains quite an important topic for US tech giant, so executives of the most important companies in this industry will meet with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss their concerns over these efforts secretly launched by the US government.

As we’ve reported to you this morning, Brad Smith, the vice president and general counsel for Microsoft, will join a select group of executives that includes Eric Schmidt (Google), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple), Dick Costolo (Twitter), and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo).

While Microsoft hasn’t released a statement on this, it was Brad Smith the one to say that Redmond wants more transparency from the US government, as it tries to share more details on the requests received from the intelligence agencies for user data.

“We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with you and are therefore are currently petitioning the federal government for permission to publish more detailed data relating to any legal demands we may have received from the U.S. pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA),” Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft has always said that it only provides user data to the government based on legal requests, so despite recent claims, the company doesn’t allow intelligence agencies to freely access its servers.

According to recent leaks however, US experts have developed technologies that intercept Internet traffic and thus collect user data without the approval of parent companies. As a result, several companies, including Microsoft itself, have announced plans to encrypt Internet traffic in an attempt to block any potential spying program.

“Microsoft remains committed to respecting human rights, free expression, and individual privacy. We seek to operate all of the services we own in a manner that’s consistent with our Global Human Rights Statement and responsibilities as a member of the Global Network Initiative.”
Brad Smith will meet with Obama to discuss NSA programs
   Brad Smith will meet with Obama to discuss NSA programs
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