Obama meets IT, telecoms chiefs

President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON. — President Barack Obama met at the White House with leaders of IT and telecoms giants, including Apple, Google and AT&T, to discuss controversial electronic surveillance programs, Politico reported yesterday. The White House confirmed the meeting, which was not mentioned on the president’s agenda for Thursday, but it did not identify the participants.

According to Politico, Obama met with Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T chief Randall Stephenson, and with Vinton Cerf, a renowned technologist considered one of the “fathers” of the Internet and now a Google employee.

The subject of the meeting, which also included representatives of privacy rights groups, was the secret National Security Agency programs revealed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the report said.

Wanted on US espionage charges, Snowden has taken refuge in Russia, which last week granted him temporary asylum, infuriating Washington. — AFP

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