Big Tech Meets With White House

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US big tech firms have faced a slew of antitrust challenges and fines in Europe.
US big tech firms have faced a slew of antitrust challenges and fines in Europe.

A virtual meeting is set for Thursday between White House officials, the Defense Department, and the Department of Homeland Security and the executives from major tech companies like Amazon, Meta, IBM, and Microsoft.

The meeting will touch on a crucial vulnerability that could have affected hundreds of millions of devices last month. The focus will be on how to make open-source computer code more secure.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s letter to chief executives of tech firms stated that the matter is a “key national security concern."

Reuters reports that the meeting will be hosted by deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology Anne Neuberger. The Biden administration has made cyber security a priority after data breaches in the 2016 presidential election and for multinational corporations.


Big Tech firms likely to be affected by antitrust legislation in Washington include Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and potentially Microsoft
Big Tech firms likely to be affected by antitrust legislation in Washington include Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and potentially Microsoft
Photo: AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS

Also attending the meeting are two open-source software organizations: Linux and volunteer-run Apache. The latter handles Log4j, which many organizations use to log data in their applications. In December, it was discovered that there was an easy-to-exploit bug in Log4j.

While there is no evidence federal agencies have been breached, the scale of the vulnerability and its impact is yet to be found given that Log4j is a widely used software. As security ramps up, so will efforts by hackers to break that security.

The meeting comes as the White House said Wednesday that it was happy with Washington, D.C., judge James Boasberg’s decision to not dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. The lawsuit asks that Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms Inc., sell Instagram and WhatsApp to break up tech monopolies.

In a press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki cited Biden’s desire to create “more competition in the tech industry.”

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