Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is wrapping up its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, but the conference seems to be the rare exception to the controversial turn the company has been enduring in recent weeks. And even then, what has come out of the conference isn’t exactly making observers turn cartwheels in enthusiasm. But at least during the conference there was a lack of controversy.
Not so much outside of the conference, especially lately.
First Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook was called to the Capitol Hill carpet to explain (really unnecessarily) why it felt compelled to take out bonds to pay cash to stockholders rather than re-patriate its billions of dollars of overseas profits. WhileCongress really did not need to know the reasoning, Cook as graciously and simply as he could explained to the lawmakers what business sense is.
For a little while, that did not go over well, at least with some members of Congress, and Cook and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) took a hit to their image. For what reason truly escapes us, by the way.
But then, right on its heels, came the revelation that the NSA’s long-running PRISM data collection operation supposedly gave the NSA access to user information from nine major tech companies, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). And it seems that, at least in some news reports about this developing scandal, that the heads of these companies had advance knowledge of the surveillance and essentially volunteered for the program and allowed it to take place.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was one of the companies that came out the day after the story broke to say that it had no poror knowledge of this operation and was not a participant in the program, but rather as much of a victim as the consumers whose data the NSA gathered. However, that seems not to be good enough, as several people have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all consumers involved with any of the nine companies against all of them, their CEOs personally as well as the NSA, the Department of Justice and President Obama for the PRISM surveillance program.
What could this lawsuit really be about, if the government and the nine tech companies are all on the same side?