The Guardian reports this morning that Tim Cook of Apple was asked during a Q&A with Apple staff:
How important is it for Apple to engage with governments?
Apparently Cook replied:
It’s very important. Governments can affect our ability to do what we do. They can affect it in positive ways and they can affect in not so positive ways. What we do is focus on the policies. Some of our key areas of focus are on privacy and security, education. They’re on advocating for human rights for everyone, and expanding the definition of human rights. They’re on the environment and really combating climate change, something we do by running our business on 100 percent renewable energy.
There’s a large number of those issues, and the way that you advance them is to engage. Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.
We very much stand up for what we believe in. We think that’s a key part of what Apple is about. And we’ll continue to do so.
I reproduce this for good reason: my presumption is that if tax was mentioned the Guardian would have picked it up and they haven't. And what we learn as a result is that Apple thinks that government is important. But as we know, it doesn't want to pay for it. In fact, it's willing to go to court to fight a £13 billion tax bill it avoided at cost to governments across the EU.
I'm not quite sure how that is defined as engagement. But I am sure Tim Cook does.