Tech Leaders and Obama Find Shared Problem: Fading Public Trust

A meeting that started with discussions about the federal health care site shifted quickly to the concerns over National Security Agency spying.

Comments: 80

  1. What a waste of time. The criminal elite meet to hatch a game plan for going forward with the public relations campaign to shield their criminal conduct that American Citizen Edward Snowden exposed. I especially like this quote from the article: “The meeting will also address national security and the economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures,” the statement added. ". "Impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures", i.e. read impact of disclosures of our criminal conduct that we had thought we secured with the cloak of secrecy and enshrined under law." Secret laws being interpreted and protected by secret courts and we have the gall to think we function in a democracy. When are the political mafia going to order their musclemen (U.S. Marshall's), to go and arrest NSA Director General Keith B. Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden for lying to the United States Congress. Yes they lied and lying to Congress is a felonious act. But criminal laws are for us lowly folks who do not suffer from 'AFLUENZA". Will Obama walk himself to the Marshal office and call Bush to take a walk with him and turn themselves in? I am glad that the U.S. tech industries, collaborators in this criminal behavior, are and will suffer economically for their collaboration. Hundreds of m millions now know that Google, Apple, Microsoft, eBay, Yahoo, heck the whole U.S. Tech industry are not to be trusted.

  2. If we could only round up Bush Jr. , Cheney and Bill Clinton, the table would be then complete

  3. obama just not getting it! Better be straight with these people or they'll never return to base.

  4. Seems to me the key player not listed on the Obama guest list is Amazon. They run a "investigate products," "make choices," "enter payments" web site of the first order.

    Isn't that what the President needs more than iProducts, movies, cell phone service or social media?

  5. Even more strange, where was Cisco, Oracle, Juniper, etc.

    My guess: those companies know for sure the NSA planted the spying equipment in their products.

  6. Cisco, Juniper and other hardware providers aren't suffering from customer mistrust, mostly because no ordinary person knows who or what they are. This is the advantage of selling to businesses rather than the public.

    As for Oracle, I'm sure Larry Ellison would have attended if the uproar were negatively affecting the company. I doubt the intelligence community needs the information in databases anyway: it's a lot easier to snarf it in transit over unsecured networks anyway, and you reap the bonus of seeing who's looking at the info.

  7. Sorry, I am having a hard time believing that Google and Facebook are concerned about their users privacy. They are more worried about their bottom lines due to the Snowden revelations. And we can add in the Obama Administration not being concerned about Americans privacy.

  8. Google and Facebook don't want the government violating our privacy. They want to do it themselves.

  9. The risks are serious in both cases but corporations can't throw you in jail for exposing them, the NSA can and will. The difference between Big Business and Big Brother is not small. The NSA can destroy our democracy and shred your rights. Facebook can only sell what you choose to give them. They can't enslave you.

  10. To Don B:
    "The difference between Big Business and Big Brother is not small. The NSA can destroy our democracy and shred your rights. Facebook can only sell what you choose to give them. They can't enslave you."

    Keeping millions of Americans in a situation where they have no job security while the corporations earn their highest profits relative to the economy--isn't that a form of servitude? Try working part time at WalMart for awhile and then tell me that the NSA is your biggest problem.

  11. Can't the photo shown with this article be used as evidence in a trial for a RICO violation? Surely the government has become a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization in collusion with these corporations.

  12. I believe I have a way to regain the public trust: Give Mr. Snowden permission to re-enter the US, give him a Presidential pardon and award him the Congressional Gold Metal. Mr. Snowden maybe labeled a traitor by some in government; if so he is in fine company: Mr. King, Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Mandela, Mr. Patrick Henry. All of whom have been called "Traitor" and all of whom like Mr. Snowden shook up the established order for the betterment of society. Some like Mr. King, Gandhi & Henry paid the ultimate price for their beliefs.

    Mr. Snowden has done more to advance the cause of freedom in the US and around the world than anyone for a long, long time. In the process he has made the "Powers That Be" very uncomfortable. Well done Sir!

  13. Do you feel that Snowden should be granted a Presidential pardon for cheating on the exam to obtain employment as a contractor for the NSA in Hawaii with the specific intent of mining data that he should not have had access to in the first place? Maybe you feel that Snowden should be pardoned for absconding to Hong Kong with his stolen files - do you find his fleeing the country of his own accord particularly heroic, proper, or necessary? Or, should he receive a pardon for then making that intelligence available to people who have profited by the purloined intelligence by publishing it for all the world to see, jeopardizing America's security and causing a strain on foreign relations?

    Snowden carefully planned his mission, he didn't simply come upon the "leaked files" through his work in Hawaii - he has admitted to taking the job with Booz Allen specifically to obtain the files he stole. He was so much more than a whistleblower - he broke into and entered areas of the NSA he had no legal access to, and he download millions of files. Imagine anyone working in private business doing such a thing, let alone someone who took an oath of secrecy.

    How exactly has "Mr. Snowden... done more to advance the cause of freedom in the US and around the world"? We are all being watched whenever we use our computers, cell phones, debit cards - it's the digital age, my friend, and the US government's surveillance of you should be the least of your worries.

  14. You are welcome to hire the guy to protect your privacy.

  15. Answers to all of bortorun45's questions: Yes. I don't see one thing wrong with the history you describe. In fact, it makes him even more dedicated in my book.

  16. It's interesting that Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other technology companies are worry about the NSA spying efforts when these companies are spying on people lives every single second whenever they go online or offline or anytime they're using the companies products.

    Some people might regard technology companies in a different matter, since they're not government, nevertheless, they're still spying on us and sell collecting information to marketers or it could get into the wrong hand like hackers. Regardless of the scenario, spy is a spy.

  17. The difference is, these companies got us to agree to the spying. Nobody held a gun to our heads to buy their products. Call it the tyranny of the free market if you like (I rather like that phrase), but it's not the kind of tyranny our laws and our Constitution were designed to forestall.

    I'm all for fixing the free market to reclaim what we used to call our private lives, but reining in the government's overreach is far more important to me. We stop trusting Facebook and the company goes under; we stop trusting our government ... hmm. I suppose we're finding out what happens in that case right now.

  18. @G

    I trusted Wall Streets and big banks in 2008, and they crashed the U.S and global economy.

  19. Those tech reps' wide smiles seem more obsequious and conspiratorial than the serious looks we'd expect from executives demanding real change.

  20. I signed on today and Google wanted my cell phone number. Why? To enhance security! I didn't give it to them but they probably already know it.

  21. "Why?"

    In order to send you a temporary access code which is more secure than a static password of your choosing. If you don't agree, don't worry, they won't be sending it.

  22. Giving someone your phone number is probably the last thing you should be worrying about as far as personal security goes. Anyone can get that in five minutes -- including cells.

  23. So does Facebook.
    Recently Huffington Paot which supplies most of the news content for AOL initiated a verification process which requires anyone wishing to commnet or reply to a comment to have Facebook(Fecesbook) to do so. The claim is that it will civilise said responses and limit the trolls. No one believes that of course. It's more about increasing Facebook's census so it can charge more for the video ads it will be running soon and to impress the stock holders and raise share price. Tim McDonald of HP has said that he doesn;t care if the accounts are fake. It's a numbers game.
    The rebellion has been enormous. Websites all over have sprung up creating new networks of people refusing to go along with this scheme. You must supply a cell phone number so you can receive a verification code by text and many are refusing seeing this as another route for advertising. People with no cell phones are of course excluded from the plan.

  24. What's amazing about the meeting is the listing of companies and how fast business and technology are changing. If you back date the meeting 20 years to 1993, only AT&T, Microsoft and Apple (and maybe Comcast) existed. The issues they are discussing did not exist.

  25. Give me a break.

    Corporate America spies on everyone to personalize the limits of the cognitive sandbox each consumer wanders in.

    The NSA's job is to make sure no one extricates themselves from virtual reality, discovers the planet Earth, and finds out what global capitalism has been doing to it and the people who live here.

    Information technology and covert intelligence are the public and secret sides of one and the same coin.

  26. Right on, Morpheus!

  27. Where was Cisco? If you want to ask some deep questions about a technology company that has sold billions of dollars worth of IP routing and switching equipment worldwide that now seems to have engineered back door access for the NSA, Cisco would be the banner carrier.

    No subsea system, no terrestrial network can function without Cisco equipment in line somewhere. When Cisco claims it drives the Internet, it is not kidding.

    Ironic in this is the fact that Cisco has lobbied to keep Huawei out of U.S. carrier networks based on "security issues" that have been discussed in general terms, ie, backdoors that would allow the Chinese to compromise U.S. communications.

    It now seems that Cisco had some direct experience in understanding this sort of activity.

    You can't pick off photonic transmissions (the fiber optic cable hacks revealed in the Snowden documents) unless you can hack the IP routers that send the traffic across the cables. A pure photonic hack is a futuristic endeavour, one that can be conducted so long as the producer of all optic routing has built in back door access at the laser level. Not so easy. All optic routing is called O-O-O, for optical-optical-optical transmission and destination routing of Internet Protocol traffic.

    Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel, Huawei and a scant few others build what are called - O-E-O routers, for optical-electrical-optical transmission. The NSA is hacking the E part of this, with the vendors' potential help, obviously.

  28. Thanks for this info. Why does it seem I learn more from the comments to nytimes pieces than the pieces themselves?

  29. Spying by the NSA is unconstitutional.
    Silicon Valley has changed from a benevolent geek town to run by ruthless, parasitic, dishonest, money crazed functionaries of the policed state.

  30. The information Americans gladly give to private companies is more of a threat to individual well-being and collective democracy than the egregious data collecting of the government. The real danger is that Apple is much more popular than the government, because people understand what their iPod does for them but not what the government does for them.

    The workings of the government are, compared to that of the big tech corporations, quite transparent. You may or may not like the influence of the Koch brothers money on politics, but at least it all plays out in a relatively public arena. Google not so much. And, while our electoral process is very far from perfect, you have more of an influence on that than you do on corporate policy. Have you tried voting Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg out of office?

    What the government is doing now it has done for decades, spying with whatever tools were available. They may have new tools, but so do those they want to spy on. What is different now is that there are huge, wealthy corporations whose profit largely come from spying and espionage i.e. the collection of your info with or without your permission. And to the extent that you may have become dependent on the internet and these companies, they simply make you an offer you can't refuse.

    .

  31. Steve your comment is "spot on". Our deification of technology is beyond absurd. At the end of the day the Internet has become a vast "sink hole" of distraction where tech companies rake in billions covertly pimping off our private information in exchange for bits and bits of superfluous and dubious information we crave, but for reasons we can't explain. Thanks to companies like Google, Apple and Facebook we've become a nation of techno zombies enamored with the trivial pursuit.

  32. Great comment. Thank you for presenting your ideas so clearly.

  33. The expose of the NSA excesses and that Agency's linkages with these corporations is taking a heavy tool on these companies' foreign-derived bottom line and global reputation. What citizen or company in any foreign country wants to do business with a corporation that is secretly funneling their clients' data to US spy agencies.

    Big Tech's concern for their profits will result in more pressures for "reforms" at NSA than anything the Congress, Courts or Administration would ever do on their own.

  34. I work for a major American company and they are feeling a backlash especially from European customers, whose preferences have shifted from American companies to companies from other countries who host their data and services outside the US. So much so that American companies have started to offer services where the data is not hosted in the US or in the "clouds" of American companies such as Amazon. However there is massive distrust of American companies and their ability to stand up to the NSA so they expect to keep losing customers.

  35. We invented the internet, and it became the economic development darling of our economy. Because of the NSA's center tap on all internet & telco data & content, and the public knowledge of this: We have killed our little darling when it comes to being and staying global.

    Even though the American internet goes virtually unregulated here, it will become regulated in other countries. Nice job, .gov knuckle head's!

  36. Trust? The government has none, the private sector never had any. What a charade this meeting was, trying to spin what does not exist. Please, Obama, hurry off to Hawaii, and save us all your sanctimonious words that only a lair can produce. So, the refrain will now be: ‘If you like your liberty you can keep it, if you like your freedom you can keep it, period, cravats, and details of new regulations to follow.’ Trust me, I am government, I never lie, just misspoke.

  37. This article feel like empty calories to me. The characterization of the meeting is mostly critical when it seems that the fact that the meeting was held and that an exchange of viewpoints was accomplished made the meeting a success. I have no doubt that Obama will address some of the concerns that the tech industry has while still maintaining the ability to protect our nation from terrorists. The problem of getting people to trust that social media and the internet are totally secure is probably unsolvable. If you don't want someone to have access to your information, you certainly don't want to use Facebook.

  38. All talk. No action.

  39. Reflects a shift? It actually reflects the closeness and interdependence of the relationship between government the tech industry. At times I wonder who writes these articles, 28 year old techno whizzes who may know all about IT but very little about the realities of power?

  40. I've watched the demise of some sites I myself use, like Google and Yahoo, slowly disintegrate by the burden of 'attachments.' I've long felt that under the guise of pop-up ads, it is, simply, spyware that makes these sites so tedious to load and work within now. Yes, healthcare.gov is one - and likely the main aim. Let's face it - we've all been being watched, but the most hideous is that the watchers are government employees, whose paychecks are signed by the very people they are watching, we taxpayers. Robert A. Heinlein was right, in many respects.

  41. It's likely Dick Chaney would say: "Joe Stalin never had these problems."

  42. The tech giants just want to eliminate the competition for our personal data.

  43. The photo accompanying this article of President Obama and the tech leaders creeps me out. They're all laughing/smiling. Do you think the joke's on us?

  44. What amazes me is how and why Barack Obama keeps flashing those toothy smiles. Here is a man who "gave us hope" and "promised" us so much, but delivered so little, continuing many of the ugly, dark policies of the Bush regime and adding his own. Among so many betrayals, Obama has failed to close his gulag, Guantanamo, failed to bring all of our troops home, expanded his war capabilities, failed to prosecute his felon friends on Wall Street and in the too-big-to-jail banks, launched a war on both whistleblowers and journalists, worked closely with the for-profit "health insurance industry" to create a "Frankenstein health care plan" and I could go on and on and on and on. "Fading trust," you say, New York Times? Shouldn't your headline read, "Tech Leaders and Obama Find Shared Problem: Lost Public Trust"!

  45. I'd like to know: What got accomplished at this meeting? Was there an agenda? minutes? Any action items from this strokefest should be aware of? And why is Joe Biden's face eclipsed by Obama's head?

  46. The tech moguls are creating the devices and application that track the 99 percent's every move, thought and action--technology they sell to the federal government. They lobby for privatizing of public services so they can exert even greater control.

    And, yeah, if they're not Libertarians feeding at the public trough, they're Democrats.

    All it will take is one well-coordinated nationwide terrorist attack and we'll all be in virtual lock-down via technology created and peddled by these children.

    Watch for the false flag.

  47. President Obama, the constitutional law professor, undoubtedly will blame the Bush administration for the NSA over reach into individuals' phone records. That has been his MO regarding his administration's economic and other policy failures for the past 5 years.

    Regarding the federal health marketplace rollout "debacle" (Sec. Sebelius's description), he can't blame the Bush administration. Therefore, his administration is pivoting to blame health insurers for the chaos caused by his administration's gross incompetence. Already his administration has issued decrees to private health insurers regarding how they should ignore state insurance regulations to rescind cancelled individual policies (that no longer complied with ACA), issue retroactive insurance policies (effective coverage Jan 1, even if individuals don't sign up by that date); permit relaxed, late premium payment rules; etc.

    As reported in the WSJ last week, these "recommendations" to the insurance sector come with the fine print that insurers not complying will be excluded from future participation in the Federal health insurance marketplace.

    Indeed, he and his administration have a "trust problem". People are very tired of the blame game, gross incompetence, and lack of accountability.

    He did not earn the title "Liar of the Year" (source: CBS News) for nothing. "If you like your plan, you can keep it" was one of many lies that earned him that accolade.

  48. Lots of major initiatives start out with problems. Look at the performance of the Union forces in the first year of the Civil War. Look at how World War II went for the allies in its early stages. Look at the problems many new models of cars have (one of mine was recalled six times and had a barrel of other mechanical failures). Also, if people want to be furious with Obama for his lack of truthfulness, they should also be furious with the other liars of recent history--the Birthers, people who shrieked about "death panels," and many, many others.

  49. It's nice when the families get together to decide how to divide control over citizens and their money. God bless them.

  50. Every one. Pobrecitos! Someone's gonna fence their free range. Poor little chickens.

  51. Newspeak and doublethink come to mind...

  52. I dunno, I'm waiting on Godot. When Orwell is non-fiction, I predict Beckett's gonna get crowned.

  53. The Internet companies' real concern is loss of overseas markets due to revelations they were providing voluntary and/or unwitting back door access to their customer data to US intelligence services. If their overseas clientele and their governments wake up this might lead to a "balkanisation!" of the Internet -- that translates into loss of market share for the major players. Most amusing is that major telecommunication companies like CISCO, Juniper and Alcatel who by definition have to be major players in this activity have managed with the collusion of mainstream media to keep a low profile on this. No visits to the White House for them because they are fully in line with these programs and have been for decades. Meanwhile, the US senators advise/warn foreigners not to buy telecommunication systems from China's Huawei because you know . . .

  54. Since it is obvious to even a blind man that the government has no real desire to protect Americans from illegal spying< I hope Brazil and other nations will pass laws that forces tech companies to keep their citizens data in their respective countries.

    This will costs the tech industries billions of dollars. That is the only way they will get out of bed with the government. They can cry foul all they want to but it sounds hollows. After all, AT&T and the other phone companies turned over call records to the government after 911 without a whimper.

    Maybe when enough people stop using their services or go with a company that is serious about users' privacy, Microsoft and the rest will do the right thing.

  55. It’s a little late to install a competent IT professional to run the website development contract - or should I say contracts. The mismanagement began when President Obama eschewed competent advice and turned the ACA implementation over to the White House staffers who shepherded it through Congress. This concrete demonstration of the President’s lack of any managerial background and unwillingness to accept expert advice has permeated his presidency and led to the disappointment of those of us who voted for him - twice.

    I cannot imagine anything concerning either of the meeting’s subjects that would warrant that grin or the reciprocating smiles of the apparent sycophants. We will soon see what impact this president’s ignorance and arrogance has had on the fortunes of the Democratic Party in the 2014 elections. Next time, I will try not to be influenced by a charismatic candidate and look for one who brings some experience to the table. I honestly had looked forward to change and a new era in politics. Well, in regard to the Legislative Branch, that’s what I got - in the form of a disaster. The Executive, in lieu of change, has just delivered more of the same with a soupcon of additional incompetence.

  56. The government wants power over you. The companies want your money. Can you really trust either of them?

  57. Not when they secretly collude together to remain lawless for one another's benefit. I bet all those guys want is the same immunity the government gave AT&T and Verizon.

    They lost my confidence years ago, but I am so happy to see my cynicim didn't go to waste.

  58. AT&T is now offering folks in Austin superior internet service if they can mine your light bundles like Google can. They also want you to pay more for it. Sounds like AT&T is crowding in on the internet data bundling bunch. But if you like your old phone record scraper, you can keep your phone record scraper.

    I bet they all have immunity by Christmas.

  59. Linked In? One of the biggest data thieves of all? How many invitations have you gotten from their stripping of client's address books?

  60. I presumed it was just another NSA data grab since they were outted by NSA's own files.

    Huff Po told me I can no longer post there until I link my facebook account to verify my own there. I may have vistited the face 6 years ago to see some old HS pics a friend sent me, but if I have a face in that book, I don't want to see it. Sounds like a big data round up to me.

    HP finally found my plug. I can't visit facebook. I don't want a social disease.

    Barrett Brown is in jail and facing life for linking, but these data hustlers won't stop trying to hook us all up.

    When I get those fake Linkedin emails, I email back the NSA story on using their data and ask my "friend" why they want to hook up with hackers.

  61. Are the cattle supposed to be reassured when the ranchers and the meat-packers hold a conference?

  62. Time to rein in both public and private spying. I don't want anyone else, public or private, reading my e-mail, monitoring my location, or tracking my web usage.

  63. Interesting how the UK rag, the Daily Mail, grabs an article from the WSJ repeats the story and then titles it as though it involved the NSA.
    Thanks for the link.

  64. Apple, Google and Facebook ? the foxes guarding the henhouse...

  65. “The president made clear his belief in an open, free and innovative Internet ". Anyone who believes that is delusional! this president and his congressional co=conspirators are the worst thing that has ever happened to the US. the last thing they believe in is something that is open let alone free. we are no longer free because they take our freedom of choice away on virtually everything. The worst part is people on the government dole don't see it or don't care. if we have not lost what we fought for during several wars then this war is even more insidious because most people are not even aware that it's being waged against them.

  66. I'm not at all sure that we have lost much in the way of freedom. The health care law is improving access to health care, which gives more people freedom of choice in the health care arena.. People are free to criticize the President and members of Congress, and they do so pretty often. People are free to move to other parts of the country, Firearms are still very much available, which they wouldn't be in a society with no freedoms. Officials with a wide variety of views are in all sorts of public ofices. By the way, which people on the "government dole" do you mean? Retired military veterans, especially the ones with major disabilities? Elderly people who are on Social Security? Homeowners that receive tax breaks to help them buy and continue to own their own homes?

  67. What 'freedoms' have we lost exactly? We've lost some privacy (ok, a lot) but freedom still abounds. No one is going to kick down your door and haul you away to jail for having and voicing your opinion.

    Assuming you are alluding to the individual mandate in ACA, we have had individual mandates since the founders took over the reins of government - every able bodied man *had* to buy a gun for national defense. And your car is loaded with individual mandates (seat belts, antilock brakes, airbags, lead free gas, and fuel efficiency). Though this costs money, it doesn't come at the expense of freedom. Just inconvenience.

  68. These folks did NOT object to these data grabs before they were revealed because their advantage is NSA's advantage, and who wouldn't take advantage of that? You bet it's out of control. It has no control mechanisms.

  69. Unchecked power to spy is like any other unchecked power: it corrupts, and while it may be intended for only the best reasons, it won't be used only or even primarily for them for long. Heed the wise words of Galadriel about what would happen were she to use the one ring. She would become "Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!" http://i.imgur.com/xS56y4Z.png

  70. Pretty obvious the president didn't want to address the NSA mess if he dangled an ACA object for distraction. Is anyone encouraged that a Mirco manager is now running ACA's sign ups? How do we know that data is SAFE? It's funny when Mike Rogers demands to know, but I'm serious.

  71. "The Adminstration told executives that government action related to NSA surveillance would happen in the new year. . . "

    Yeah, and if you like your plan you can keep your plan, period.

    This article to some degree depicts our President as somehow an outsider to the NSA workings.

    He's the commander in chief. He could have changed the system five years ago if he wanted to.

    Our President has authorized the spying that has gone on and seeks to prosecute Snowden to the fulll extent of the law. Why, because President Obama believes the government should spy on us.

    If only Snowden were an "undocumented worker", he would be safe from prosecution whatever his crimes.

  72. The United States and the Constitution was founded on not trusting government. It would be news if government could be trusted.

  73. That's a highly dubious assessment of the constitution and the country's founders. If it were true, you could say the same thing about business and organized religion as well. It's not about any of these. It's about human nature — everyone's, including yours.

    Eclectic Pragmatist — http://eclectic-pragmatist.tumblr.com/

  74. President Obama meets with these particular tech CEOs? The same ones who claim there are no CS graduates in America? The same ones who abuse the H-1B visa program and undercut American wages? The same ones who happily signed on to sell information to the C.I.A. and N.S.A.? (Our tax dollars pay for access to their data - see previous NYT articles about payouts to tech companies)

    I've worked in the tech industry for 15 years and have seen massive layoffs of Americans while they send jobs overseas. Now, they are being used as Obama's advisers? What could they possibly advise? "Lower Wages" "Allow us to outsource more" "Allow us to have permanent unpaid interns" "keep paying us for private user information"?

  75. i'm suspecting that the government hired a private contractor to construct the software for the affordable care act programs. that must be the problem - depending on the private sector rather than public servants.

  76. President Obama prepared to release an independent panel's review of U.S. intelligence practices later today in a prelude to announcing a broad set of new policy procedures aimed at reining in the NSA.

    The president will announce next month some constraints on the intelligence community to ensure American officials are focusing on foreign threats and not simply gathering information because they have the capability to do so.

    The 300-page report of the outside advisory panel will provide an important window into President Obama's thinking on how he plans to impose some restrictions on the NSA. It includes 46 recommendations.

    The president met today in the White House Situation Room with members of the advisory panel including Richard Clarke, a former counterterrorism adviser in the Clinton and Bush White Houses; Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA; and Peter Swire, who worked on technology issues in the Obama and Clinton administrations.

    The group has recommended Obama change the NSA leadership from military to civilian, store the vast amount of data on phone calls collected by the agency at a third-party organization, and use stricter standards for searching the data.

    President Obama is attempting to straddle a fine line between making sure information is gathered to head off potential threats, but at the same time respect privacy concerns.

  77. Sales men on the right,
    Bag men on the left.
    Nauseating self congratulatory bunch of ordinary amoral folk.

  78. I don't see how there can be any trust restored until the administration changes it's outlook on Edward Snowden. Without the revelations about wholesale spying and illegal data collection by Snowden we would not even be having this national discussion. President Obama will be on the wrong side of history if he doesn't recognize the value of this issue. It would be sad if he is remembered as the president of drones and spying on citizens. Perhaps healthcare will save him from that. But isn't about time he stood up to the spooks and hawks who pull many of the levers.