Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak at White House cybersecurity summit, other CEOs defer

Apple CEO Tim Cook will speak at the White House cybersecurity summit Friday at Stanford University, according to an event invitation.

The White House is expected to reveal its next executive action on cybersecurity at the summit, which will bring together tech executives, leading academics and government officials to discuss ways in which the government can better collaborate with the private sector on cybersecurity initiatives.

This is about privacy and the ongoing battle over government access to our emails and digital lives. This is an opportunity to find a path that works for both sides, or at least better understand the issues at stake. Tim Cook will be there. Other notables will not.


The top executives of Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Facebook Inc. won’t attend President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity summit on Friday, at a time when relations between the White House and Silicon Valley have frayed over privacy issues. Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt all were invited but won’t attend the public conference at Stanford University, according to the companies. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is planning to be at the event, where Obama is scheduled to give the keynote speech and have a private lunch with a select group of attendees.

If not attending the event is a form of protest, it is ill timed and ill informed. Go to the event. Make your voices heard. Stand up for your customers and your shareholders.

  • Costa K

    Of the four not attending three really don’t give a stuff about privacy or security.

    Methinks that’s why they’re not going to the capital.

    • matthewmaurice

      Exactly, it’s really hard for any of those people, including Ms. Mayer, to stand up in front of an audience of rational people and keep a straight face when talking about privacy.

    • Not caring is putting it too mildly. They likely have nothing to say about it that they’d like to see quoted.

  • rogifan

    The other way too look at this is Tim Cook is beholden to the government. Pretty much anything the Administration asks, Apple does.

    • Dave Mark

      Rogifan, I hear your point, but why not show up, argue your point? Not even going to the event is the surest way to make sure that your agenda, and your constituency, is not represented. Personally, I don’t see Tim Cook as anyone’s lackey.

      • matthewmaurice

        ” Personally, I don’t see Tim Cook as anyone’s lackey.”

        Unless it’s a great bit of dissembling, and misdirection, Apple is not popular with Obama’s Justice Department,

      • rogifan

        Hmm…I think these summits are largely for show. Just like having Tim Cook at the State of the Union because Apple created a couple hundred jobs assembling the Mac Pro in Texas. Apple is popular and having its CEO in your box during the SOTU makes you look cool. Same with summits like this where all these Silicon Valley big shots show up.

        • Moeskido

          Cooler than having to win over several hundred congressmen by contributing enough to each of their campaigns until they collectively find other scapegoats to publicly “investigate.”

    • matthewmaurice

      Citation please.

      • Yes, please – cite your claim that Apple does whatever the Feds want. Otherwise it’s just another mouthful of horse puckey falling out of rogifan’s mouth again.

    • Terry Maraccini

      quit thinking that everything this government does is illegal and immoral. A dialogue has to start between those that govern and those who want maximum privacy.

      Why don’t YOU do something to move the world forward?

    • What uninformed nonsense. Typical from you. Apple has pushed hard to publish the number of security letters they get from the Feds. They’ve also refused to hand over the key to device encryption, aka back door.