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President Obama meets with tech CEOs at cybersecurity conference




STANFORD, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection on February 13, 2015 in Stanford, California. President Obama joined corporate CEOs to speak about the importance of cybersecurity during the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.
STANFORD, CA - FEBRUARY 13: U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection on February 13, 2015 in Stanford, California. President Obama joined corporate CEOs to speak about the importance of cybersecurity during the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.
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At Stanford in Northern California, CEOs from the country's top tech companies, private security contractors and President Obama are in Northern California talking about cybersecurity.

Amy Zegart, Co-Director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, spoke with Tess Vigeland on Take Two. She explained that, as cybersecurity threats have grown in severity and importance, it's become more necessary for companies to treat online threats more seriously. That's why so many people are showing up at the event.

For Obama, the visit was planned more than a month ago, but the need became even more urgent as news broke last week of yet another massive hack - this time at health insurance provider Anthem.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced a new intelligence unit to track online data breaches. It's called the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center and its goal is to bring together cybersecurity information from different government agencies like the NSA and the FBI so that the data can be utilized better. 

At the conference at Stanford, today, the discussion is focused on how to initiate better cooperation between the private sector and the government when it comes to sharing information about things like cyber attacks and security breaches. 

"This affects potentially, Americans all across our country and the companies that are providing a lot of the basic infrastructure that the federal government doesn't provide, has to be partners in this effort..." 

That's according to Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the President, who spoke with Alex Cohen on Take Two.

"We think that it's a great opportunity for companies to voluntarily participate. It's in their self interest.... Speed is of the essence, so as soon as we have any indication there's been a breach, we want to make sure that we have open dialogues... the first step is to try to prevent it before it happens... Second, if it does happen, we want to make sure that we address it and that we do so in a way that has the least amount of damage to either the businesses or certainly their customers. And we want to make sure that the customers are alerted to what's going on as well, because if there's a breach that effects their information that the customers be a part of that as well."

But not everyone Silicon Valley company has gotten behind the Obama administration's cybersecurity policies. Google and Facebook come to mind. Neither of their CEOs showed up to the conference today. Both have clashed with the Obama administration over surveillance policies that came to light in the Snowden leaks.

"Is there a natural tension? Sure there is, but the President says, "Look, we can't ignore it. It's a delicate balance, but let's engage and work together and see what we can do to both protect our country, preserve peoples privacy rights and liberties, but make sure that we keep America safe..."