Facebook, Microsoft and Google Decline Invitation To Obama’s Cybersecurity Summit
Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft will not be attending a summit called by President Barack Obama this week for cybersecurity in California. Executives from these tech giants were invited way before time, yet they have decided to not attend the gathering.
However, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has accepted the invitation, along with Mastercard’s Ajay Banga and Symantec’s Michael Brown.
Wide speculation is being made as to why Marissa Mayer, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, Satya Nadella, and Mark Zuckerberg declined the invitation to attend the summit at Stanford University.
The Obama administration is to announce executive action which will allow private companies to share cyber-threat data with the government. This would mark an end to a more than two year old deadlock between the White House and Congress over cyber-intelligence sharing. Congress calls for increased user data sharing capabilities, but President Obama threatened to forbid the act after privacy and civil issues were not addressed.
Bloomberg has suggested that one of the reasons why the tech giant executives are not showing interest in the summit is due to a recent back-and-forth between the US government and their companies.
Apple and Google still have not reeled from the skirmish against government when the latter installed device encryption with their mobile software for surveillance. So the NSA scandal still has some executives less than pleased with the government.
However, on the other hand, the government is actually trying to help prevent cyber attacks against businesses. These businesses include Silicon Valley tech titans, who demand a free flow of information between themselves and government in order to avoid such attacks digitally.
But since the PRISM program was exposed by Snowden, which claimed government was accessing personal systems, many technological companies are doubtful and reluctant in signing off deals with the government. This might cause a lack of trust in consumers as they would probably relate the company’s loyalty with the spying government.
The Obama admin says that the government has no power to stop NSA from spying – lawmakers do. A recent report from the government’s privacy board reveals that the Obama administration actually can stop some of the most degrading domestic spying, even without the Congress, and help bridge the trust gap between the government and private industry.