Before Snowden it was possible for the IT outfits to do this under a veil of secrecy, but now that veil has been lifted, big names in the industry want out. Top executives from Apple, Google, Yahoo, Netflix, Comcast, AT&T, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and other companies met privately for more than two hours with Obama and top White House aides.
The White House had trumpeted the meeting as a chance to talk up progress made in repairing the government's healthcare website after its botched rollout generated a political firestorm and sent Obama's job approval rating tumbling. However it turned out that the tech companies focused solely on government surveillance, not healthcare.
"We appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the president our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urge him to move aggressively on reform," the technology companies said in their statement.