According to a recently released report from Politico, President Barack Obama met with a number of technology leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, and civil rights leaders to discuss government surveillance activities, which as many of you know has been a hot topic recently. The meeting was held behind closed doors according to sources and was the second such high-level talk regarding government surveillance issues this week. The White House declined to reveal topics discussed in the meeting as did those who attended.
Cook was supposedly joined by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google’s Chief Internet evangelist and legendary computer scientist Vint Cerf, and Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn. Representatives from the Center for Democracy and Technology were also present according to the sources.
Based on an anonymous White House aide, the meetings are also seen as part of a larger initiative that seeks to find balance between the government’s counterterrorism policies and personal privacy. According to the anonymous aide:
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.