U.S. President Barack Obama met with Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, as well as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf (no Larry Page or Eric Schmidt?), as well as other leading technologists, civil libertarians, and concerned parties regarding the recent controversy surrounding NSA spying on citizens via the services they use. The meeting was held behind closed doors, but Tony Romm and Michelle Quinn share the following on 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.
The Obama administration has reportedly promised a greater and more public dialog about the alleged practices and privacy violations. What if anything comes of it remains to be seen. Especially considering trust once broken is impossible to fully replace - how could any government prove they ever stopped spying on their citizens?
And if any government - because it's beyond naive to think the U.S. is the only country in which this is happening - wants to continue widespread domestic surveillance programs, make it the law of the land and then run on that law. Don't reveal details, of course, but tell the people the broad strokes of what's happening - that their electric privacy no longer exists - send it through the appropriate legislative bodies, and then let the people hold whichever side they agree with accountable.
Otherwise you lose what it is you're trying so desperately to protect - by giving it away yourself.
More on Cook et al.'s meeting via the link below.