Quoted: Hillary Clinton on tech and the Edward Snowden leaks

“We need to make it clear to other countries that our technology companies are not part of our government.”

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, in comments about the Edward Snowden leaks during a speech at a tech industry conference Thursday in San Francisco. As we’ve written, the tech industry has had to face challenges at home and abroad over the perception that it’s helping governments spy on Internet users — including through programs such as Prism. Companies such as Google have strongly denied they are voluntarily cooperating with spying, saying they’re giving up information only when legally compelled to do so. Tech CEOs such as Cisco’s John Chambers have complained about the reports based on the Snowden leaks, as our own Michelle Quinn wrote about recently: “We simply cannot operate this way, our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security,” Chambers said in a letter to President Obama. Tech employees also have been frustrated, with Google engineers last year publicly hurling profanities over reports that the NSA had been intercepting Google and Yahoo traffic. And U.S. companies are reportedly feeling the squeeze; for example, Germany canceled an Internet-service contract with Verizon a couple of months ago, and smaller companies are also saying they’re being affected.

Clinton also addressed the spying itself on Thursday: “There’s no doubt we went too far in a number of areas,” she said about the increased surveillance powers the government gave itself after the 9/11 attacks.


Photo: Hillary Clinton signs her new book, “Hard Choices,” at the Common Good Books store in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, July 20, 2014. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)


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  • Jennifer Cohagen

    “We need to make it clear to other countries that US technologies do not willingly give us all your information. We actually hack all our technology companies to reveal all their client’s info, so give them a break, its not like they did it willingly. I think — actually, I have no idea, the CIA does pretty much whatever it wants and doesn’t tell Obama when we’re spying on Merkel, let alone little old me — a peon congresswoman / secretary of state. Why would the CIA tell me anything?”

  • RedViolets

    Actually “reporter”, she said that they may have gone too far but then she back tracked and said that there was a line and that the NSA didn’t cross it but they did sit on it. … She’s on the side of the NSA and spying and she is no friend to whistle blowers that are just trying to tell the truth.

  • fbxl5

    Who are Hilary’s comments designed to appeal to or, impress?