Cisco's chief executive John Chambers has urged US president Barack Obama to create a new set of rules designed to protect customers of global tech giants from US agency snooping.
Chambers (pictured) told the president that confidence in the internet is being "eroded by revelations about governments' surveillance" in a letter dated last week, which came to light over the weekend after it was published by Re/code.
The Cisco boss referred to recent media reports which alleged the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted IT kit while it was in transit to customers. The reports included a photo supposedly showing Cisco kit being modified, Chambers said, but he insisted that the issue affects the entire industry.
As a result of the reports, he lobbied Obama to take new measures to protect customers.
"Our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security," Chambers wrote.
"That is why we need a standards of conduct or new set of ‘rules of the road' to ensure that appropriate safeguards and limits exist that serve national security objectives while at the same time meet the needs of global commerce.
"We understand the real and significant threats that exist in the world but we must also respect the industry's relationship with our customers."
Back in March – about 10 months after the initial scandal which revealed the extent of the NSA's snooping came to light – Obama took steps to ease concerns and proposed to end the agency's practice of collecting US phone data in bulk.
But Chambers asked the president to do more.
"We appreciate the steps you took earlier this year on this important topic," he said. "We are asking your administration to take more steps and a leadership role to ensure that guidelines and reforms are put into place that can be honoured across the globe."
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