Obama To Meet With Silicon Valley’s Tech Elite To Talk Cybersecurity

Silicon Valley is getting a visit from President Barack Obama today, where he will sign an executive order to promote cooperation between the government and tech companies in the fight against large-scale data theft.

The order will create Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs), which would work with the Department of Homeland Security to prevent the sorts of mass security breaches that have rocked Anthem, Sony, Target, and others. The groups will share information about hackers in the hopes that they can better prepare to defend against attacks with the shared data.

President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“By getting this right, businesses and people around the world will continue to want to store data with American companies, do business with American retailers, bank with American firms and carry around American smartphones and other devices,” White House National Economic Council director Jeff Zients told Reuters.

Some of the companies that are best positioned to help the government’s efforts are expected not to attend. Facebook, Yahoo, and Google executives will likely attend the conference, though Apple CEO Tim Cook will and is expected to speak. The companies that are avoiding the conference will be doing so to send the message that they are unhappy with the government’s spying policies. The NSA’s broad-ranging surveillance was famously uncovered by Edward Snowden.