President Barack Obama delivered a speech focusing on cybersecurity Friday at Stanford University, before signing an executive order intended to facilitate a dialogue between tech companies and the government.
During the brief appearance, the president was joined on stage by leaders in technology, health and banking, as part of the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.
Obama spoke about developing future of American cyber innovation and the executive order that strives “to promote even more information sharing about cyber threats, both within the private sector and between government and the private sector.”
Stanford President John Hennessy provided opening remarks to begin the event, leading to speeches by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco, National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, and two discussion panels with CEOs from large corporations such as Intel, Bank of America, Master Card and PG&E.
The summit also featured speeches from Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Speakers discussed the dangers posed by cyberattacks—both foreign and domestic, financial and energy related—as well as ways to protect against online attacks.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, introduced President Obama and spoke about Apple Pay and its enhanced security features, which he announced would partner with the government while touting the method as superior to those of credit cards.
“We believe we can bring about a future that fully embraces both privacy and security,” Cook said. “We must get this right.”
President Obama gave a 30-minute address before signing the executive order on Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing. He took the stage to roaring applause. Remarking on Silicon Valley’s pleasantly warm winter weather and Stanford’s hospitable campus environment, Obama joked, “I’ve got to admit, I kind of want to go here.”
The cybersecurity summit was just one stop for Obama during a busy day in Silicon Valley. After his speech and signing, the president hosted a roundtable with local business leaders and was scheduled to deliver remarks at a Democratic National Committee event Friday evening.
Many top Silicon Valley executives were notably not present at the event, including those of Google, Facebook and Yahoo!