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article imageOp-Ed: Obama to cut spying under pressure from tech giants

By Robert Weller     Dec 18, 2013 in Politics
A day after the world’s tech giants scolded the White House for letting NSA spying reach Orwellian levels the White House released a report suggesting reforms.
The report by a review board appointed by President Obama recommends major reforms to limit the spying and restore public trust, the Washington Post reported.
Day by day Edward Snowden, a refugee in Russia, is being made to look less like a traitor and more like a whistle-blower.
Earlier this week a federal judge said the spying, which has included listening in the phone calls of world leaders and ordinary people as well as monitoring video gamers, likely was unconstitutional, the New York Times said.
The mainstream media and Congress have been reluctant to oppose the spying because it is considered useful in blocking terrorist attacks. The surveillance was authorized under the Patriot Act, created after 911 when George Bush was president, and has been renewed by subsequent congresses and Obama.
Executives from 15 companies, including Google, Microsoft and Apple, met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday to complain that their businesses were being hurt because users no longer believe their information is private, the Guardian said. European leaders have expressed their outrage that their calls were monitored.
The meeting with Obama and Biden lasted almost three hours. It was billed as focusing on problems with Obamacare, but those who attended said two hours were spent on talking about spying.
For those still not getting the message, 54 civil liberties and public interest groups sent a letter to Congress to oppose a bill that would legalize and even expand the spying, the Electronic Frontier Founation said.
“The president made clear his belief in an open, free, and innovative internet and listened to the group’s concerns and recommendations, and made clear that we will consider their input as well as the input of other outside stakeholders as we finalize our review of signals intelligence programs,” a White House statement said.
The news came too late for Boeing. It lost a jet deal to Saab because Brazil was angry about the spying.
Click here for the NSA report.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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