Apple CEO Tim Cook and a number of executives from other tech firms will meet with White House officials today to examine ways to hinder terrorist activity on social media.
According to BuzzFeed News, Cook will join representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and other influential Silicon Valley players as part of a summit in San Jose, Calif., to discuss how each company might best leverage their respective online platforms to combat terrorists’ use of social media as a recruitment tool. News of the upcoming summit was first reported by Reuters.
“The White House sees Silicon Valley as an integral part of fighting the propaganda from ISIL and other groups,” an unnamed White House official told BuzzFeed News. “There needs to be a concerted effort to fight the ISIL propaganda.”
While an official list of attendees has not been published, Reuters reports White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers will all be in attendance.
Recent deadly attacks, both in the U.S. and abroad, have lead to a heated debate on the role social networks and encryption play in terrorist recruitment, propaganda, and planning operations. Many government officials have pointed a finger at companies such as Apple and Google for their encryption techniques, and for allowing terrorist content to grow online.
Apple CEO Cook has long been an opponent to the idea of providing a “backdoor” for government officials to access encrypted communications sent and received on Apple’s devices.
“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do,” Cook said in a February interview. “If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999 percent of people who are good.” He added, “You don’t want to eliminate everyone’s privacy. If you do, you not only don’t solve the terrorist issue but you also take away something that is a human right. The consequences of doing that are very significant.”