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Report: Tech Execs, Civil Liberties Advocates Have Closed-Door Meeting With Obama About Gov't Spying


"...how to best protect privacy in a digital era..."

It was a session not put on president's public schedule, but according to reports Barack Obama met Thursday with tech executives and civil liberties advocates, likely to discuss government surveillance programs that collect communications information.

nsa protest Activists demonstrate against the electronic surveillance tactics of the NSA on July 27, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

According to Politico, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson were among those in the meeting. The meeting, which spokespersons from the White House and from the companies declined to comment upon, came after a meeting earlier in the week that discussed the controversial domestic surveillance programs run through the National Security Agency, Politico reported.

“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,” an official told Politico before the earlier meeting, which occurred Tuesday.

Obama will face reporters' questions in a previously unscheduled news conference Friday afternoon, where he will likely be asked about the decision to close nearly two dozen embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa.

Obama is set to leave Washington on Saturday for a nine-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. with his family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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