Obama to discuss cybersecurity with tech giants

President Barack Obama is holding a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection on Friday with top industry figures, including Apple’s Tom Cook, to encourage companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government.

The meeting at Stanford University in California will address new ways to bolster cybersecurity – a response to attacks like that on Sony Entertainment – but also to adopt more secure payment technologies.

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt were all invited but won’t attend the summit and have sent their top information security executives instead, according to a report from Bloomberg.

President Barack Obama is set to sign an executive order where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security, Reuters news agency reported.

However relations between big tech giants and the Obama administration have soured since the NSA revelations from former CIA contractor Edward Snowden over government spying, potentially putting Obama at odds with the companies.

The White House said that it will bring everybody together, “industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in the field” to make sure that the issues are handled transparently. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is also due to address the conference on Friday.

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