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Apple and Google reps are meeting with CIA and GCHQ leaders

An 18th-century mansion in the English countryside is probably the last place I’d expect representatives from the world’s top technology companies to be meeting with government officials, but that’s exactly what happened last week. Representatives from Apple and Google met with current and former leaders of the CIA and GCHQ to discuss government surveillance. 

At an 18th-century mansion in England’s countryside last week, current and former spy chiefs from seven countries faced off with representatives from tech giants Apple and Google to discuss government surveillance in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks. The three-day conference, which took place behind closed doors and under strict rules about confidentiality, was aimed at debating the line between privacy and security. Among an extraordinary list of attendees were a host of current or former heads from spy agencies such as the CIA and British electronic surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. Other current or former top spooks from Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Sweden were also in attendance. Google, Apple, and telecommunications company Vodafone sent some of their senior policy and legal staff to the discussions. And a handful of academics and journalists were also present.

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