Obama meets with Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Vint Cerf, and other tech leaders to talk surveillance

President Obama

Above: President Obama

Image Credit: The White House
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Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google exec (and one of the cofounders of the web) Vint Cerf, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, and other technology leaders secretly met with President Barack Obama on Thursday to talk about the NSA and tech surveillance, Politico reports.

The meeting was completely off the record, and no companies have commented on what was said during it. That said, there were plenty of topics for discussion given all of the recent controversy surrounding the NSA’s spying on Americans and foreigners through various means. Most recently, it was revealed just mentioning a terrorist in an e-mail could get you snooped on by the NSA.

Cook and Cerf likely had the most to say considering they help lead two of the nine original tech companies named as part the PRISM program, which allegedly enables the government spy on customers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.

Thursday’s meeting follows a meeting held Tuesday with representatives from the Technology Industry Council, TechNet, and TechAmerica. An Obama administration aide said that Tuesday’s meeting was “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.” Thursday’s discussion almost certainly was in the same vein.