Cisco chief writes to Obama to decry NSA activities

May 18, 2014
Cisco Systems Inc. Chairman and CEO John Chambers delivers a keynote address in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 7, 2014

Cisco chief executive John Chambers has complained to US President Barack Obama about the National Security Agency's spying practices, saying they were harming overseas business for US tech firms.

"This issue affects an entire industry," the head of the said in a letter dated Friday obtained by AFP.

Chambers referred in particular to recent media reports that the NSA had intercepted and modified IT and on its way from manufacturers to customers.

One of the manufacturers was Cisco, which is a top supplier of .

"If these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally," Chambers warned.

"We simply cannot operate this way.

"We understand the real and significant threats that exist in this world, but we must also respect the industry's relationship of trust with our customers."

Chambers urged Obama to create new rules of conduct "to ensure that appropriate safeguards and limits exist that serve national security objectives, while at the same time meet the needs of global commerce."

Without such rules, "we are concerned that our country's global technological leadership will be impaired," Chambers said.

A Cisco spokesman confirmed that Chambers had written to Obama but declined to comment on the content of the letter.

Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president in charge of legal issues, had said earlier in the week on the company's blog that some actions by the US government had "overreached."

"We comply with US laws, like those of many other countries, which limit exports to certain customers and destinations," Chandler said.

"We ought to be able to count on the government to then not interfere with the lawful delivery of our products."

Several players in the US tech sector have already registered complaints following revelations of the NSA's vast online surveillance program.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he spoke to Obama by telephone in mid-March to express "frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future."

Explore further: Obama meets Internet bosses on surveillance (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama meets Internet bosses on surveillance (Update)

Mar 21, 2014

US President Barack Obama met bosses from Facebook, Google and other Internet giants Friday to discuss plans to overhaul US spy agency surveillance practices which have infuriated the industry.

Tech leaders warn on effects of US snooping fallout

Jan 22, 2014

Hi-tech bosses on Wednesday demanded authorities change their murky ways in the wake of revelations of a vast snooping campaign by the US and other governments that has raised concerns on privacy.

Cisco CEO's pay package dipped 9 pct in past year

Sep 27, 2012

(AP)—Cisco Systems Inc. trimmed CEO John Chambers' pay package for the past fiscal year by 9 percent as concerns about growth at the maker of computer networking equipment weighed on its stock.

Obama reassures Internet CEOs on tech privacy

Mar 22, 2014

President Barack Obama sought Friday to assure leading Internet and tech executives that his administration is committed to protecting people's privacy, a week before a self-imposed deadline for a review ...

Zuckerberg says US government threat to Internet

Mar 13, 2014

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday he had called President Barack Obama to complain that the US government is undermining confidence in the Internet with vast, secret surveillance programs.

Recommended for you

Man pleads guilty in New York cybercrime case

20 hours ago

A California man has pleaded guilty in New York City for his role marketing malware that federal authorities say infected more than a half-million computers worldwide.

How to keep the world's eyes out of your webcam

Nov 21, 2014

There are concerns that thousands of private webcams around the world could be streaming live images to anybody who wishes to view them – without their owner knowing – thanks to a Russian website provi ...

Britain urges Russia to shut down webcam spying site

Nov 20, 2014

A Russian website offering thousands of live feeds peering into bedrooms and offices around the world by accessing poorly secured webcams should be taken down immediately, British officials said on Thursday.

NSA Director: China can damage US power grid

Nov 20, 2014

China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks to shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States. That's according to Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency ...

Some in NSA warned of a backlash

Nov 20, 2014

Current and former intelligence officials say dissenters within the National Security Agency warned in 2009 that secretly collecting American phone records wasn't providing enough intelligence to justify ...

Russia hacking site spying webcams worldwide: Britain

Nov 20, 2014

Britain's privacy watchdog on Thursday called on Russia to take down a site showing hacked live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world and warned it was planning "regulatory action".

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.