President Obama met yesterday with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google’s Vint Cerf, and other executives from tech firms to discuss matters of government surveillance–presumably using the tech tools the executives are responsible for.
Earlier in the week, reports suggest there were other off-the-record meetings between government officials and lobbyists for the tech industry and privacy experts. The topics discussed included spying conducted by agencies like the NSA and tracking consumers’ online behavior.
The list of invitees may not be surprising given the highly controversial list of well-known U.S. tech names that were revealed by the NSA of being complicit in its widespread surveillance programs. It’s also emerged over the last several years that technology that involves a degree of monitoring of online users’ behavior has advanced faster than typical consumers and government non-tech-experts can understand–with a great example being the Apple “tracking” fiasco, based on a misunderstanding of how cell phone navigation works.