Along with Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was present along with Google computer scientist Vint Cerf. Sources say civil liberty leaders were also at the closed-door confidential meeting.
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.
White House Staff and any reported members of the meeting declined to comment about it. A White House Staffer did issue the following statement, however:
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.
These meetings are in no doubt related to the recent NSA leaks that revealed the Government has direct access to all private data at major tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and more.