SNUB! CEOs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo Decline Invitation to Lunch With Obama

By CNSNews.com | February 14, 2015 | 11:34pm EST

President Barack Obama at Cyber Security Summit at Stanford University on Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that the chief executives of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo declined an invitation from the White House to have a private lunch with the president when he visited the Bay Area this weekend.

Obama visited California to hold a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University.

The Chronicle reported:

"Obama said his relationship with Silicon Valley and the tech community has historically been pretty good. But the revelations of the National Security Agency’s mass data collection by former contractor Edward Snowden “were really harmful in terms of the trust between government and many of these companies, in part because of the impact it had on their bottom lines.”

"The president made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with Re/code’s Kara Swisher in Silicon Valley, where he headlined a first-ever White House summit on cyber security issues and was scheduled to attend a Democratic party fundraiser.

"The interview touched on everything from cyber warfare to the president’s quandary over which fitness tracker to road test.

"These strained relations between the White House and Silicon Valley were placed in sharp focus Friday after the chief executives of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo declined White House invitations to attend the summit--and a private lunch with the president.

"These companies are among a number of tech giants that have pushed Washington to end the bulk collection of private data because of customer privacy concerns, but little has happened to curb the NSA’s practices."

Bloomberg had reported on Thursday that the chief executives of Google, Yahoo and Facebook would not attend the summit. Bloomberg reported:

“The top executives of Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Facebook Inc. won’t attend President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity summit on Friday, at a time when relations between the White House and Silicon Valley have frayed over privacy issues.

“Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt all were invited but won’t attend the public conference at Stanford University, according to the companies. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is planning to be at the event, where Obama is scheduled to give the keynote speech and have a private lunch with a select group of attendees."

 

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