Tim Cook and Other Tech Executives Meet with President Obama to Discuss Government Surveillance

In June, reports surfaced of a top secret surveillance program named PRISM, which according to leaked presentation slides was claimed to allow the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) direct access to user data on servers across a wide spectrum of Internet companies, including Apple. Now, Politico is reporting that a meeting between President Barack Obama and technology executives including Apple CEO Tim Cook took place earlier this week to discuss the subject of government surveillance. The meeting was reportedly confidential and was the second meeting this week in which top government officials held discussions with representatives from the technology industry to examine mainstream privacy issues.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the comment thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All MacRumors forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

niuniu Avatar
141 months ago
I still don't understand why some people are so concerned. There are millions of people in America. If you're not doing anything illegal or harmful, why are you so worked up about "being watched"?

You know how many secrets and technology the government must have? You'll never know.

I'm not saying to not care about it, but there's NOTHING you can do.

Better to voice discontent than bend-over and take it in the ass.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
niuniu Avatar
141 months ago
So much for transparency.

Confidence -1
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
niuniu Avatar
141 months ago
Release the conspiracy theorists!

We don't need them anymore. We have 1000's of leaked NSA documents being released slowly to get our facts from.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reckless2k2 Avatar
141 months ago
I'm really disappointed to hear politicians on both sides justify this over-reach by the Government. The erosion of our Constitution continues and that pesky 4th Amendment doesn't seem to matter much anymore.

Sad that those that are supposed to defend it are contributing to its demise.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValSalva Avatar
141 months ago
How can Apple really resist the government and the wealthy interests who pull the strings of government? The United States is a police state now. Maybe it always has been but recently the hostility and fear has been escalated.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phillipduran Avatar
141 months ago
Bring the SOB a copy of the constitution and remind him of his requirements to uphold and protect citizens rights. :mad:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)