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Tim Cook and Other Tech Executives Meet with President Obama to Discuss Government Surveillance
President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.Earlier this year, a conservative activist and three others sued Apple among other companies and the U.S. government over alleged privacy violations resulting from supposed participation in the NSA’s PRISM intelligence program.
The session, which Obama attended himself, followed a similar gathering earlier this week between top administration officials, tech-industry lobbyists and leading privacy hawks, the sources said. Those earlier, off-the-record discussions centered on the controversy surrounding the NSA as well as commercial privacy issues such as online tracking of consumers.
After the lawsuit, Apple issued a “Commitment to Customer Privacy” statement addressing the issue, implying that no agency has had direct access to customer data and that each request for data by law enforcement is strictly evaluated. And last month, Apple signed on to an alliance of dozens of technology companies asking for greater transparency with regard to the NSA's surveillance program.
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