President Barack Obama waves to the media as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after returning on Marine One from Camp David, Md., where he spent his birthday Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Apple Chief Tim Cook, Google and other tech executives, along with privacy advocates met with President Barack Obama to discuss government surveillance Thursday, according to a report.
Cook, and others such as AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson, Google's Vint Cerf and privacy advocates met in a closed-door meeting with the president, POLITICO reported. The session is likely an offshoot of earlier discussions this week about the NSA controversy and online consumer tracking. Neither the White House or those at the Thursday session commented on the meeting.
The administration began reaching out on Tuesday to tech executives and meeting with the Information Technology Council, TechNet and TechAmerica, along with defense contractors, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
“This is one of a number of discussions the administration is having with experts and stakeholders in response to the president’s directive to have a national dialogue about how to best protect privacy in a digital era, including how to respect privacy while defending our national security,” an unnamed official told POLITICO.
However, the second meeting on Thursday was held under wraps and featured senior executives from tech companies and representatives from groups such as the Center for Democracy and Technology.
That this meeting happened may seem to indicate that the White House is aware of the rising distrust of the government and its methods of surveillance, so may be trying to create a compromise with the help of tech industry leaders and those advocating consumer privacy. Already Congress is working to create legislation to limit or check federal surveillance efforts.