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We still don't know if Apple and other tech companies' denial of direct involvement in the PRISM scandal has any truth (although we can at least be happy that Apple was apparently the last to participate), but we can take some comfort in the fact that Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to want to do something about it. According to Politico, Cook and other tech representatives held a confidential meeting this week with other tech executives and President Obama to discuss government surveillance programs.
In Politico's words, "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."
Source: The Guardian
As for what was discussed at the meeting? We have no idea, aside, that is, from the topic. However, we've seen in the past that Apple has vehemently denied participation in the program, even to the point of allying with rivals Google and Microsoft to work with civil liberties groups and push for more transparency from the White House. Not long after the allegations surfaced, Apple released its "Commitment to Customer Privacy" statement that spoke of how Apple deals with such requests and how it "conducts an evaluation of each request" before proceeding.
From an optimist viewpoint, it's possible Cook was there to discuss the extent of the desired transparency (if it'll exist at all)--down to what requests may be revealed to the public and which may not. Unfortunately, it's possible we'll never know what was actually said.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.