FORTUNE -- Tim Cook got serious at the 2:20 mark in the attached 4-minute YouTube video.
ABC News' David Muir had finally stopped peppering Apple's (AAPL) CEO with questions about the company's next big thing and brought the subject around to the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance program.
A top-secret powerpoint slide leaked last June suggested that an NSA program called PRISM gave the agency some kind of backdoor access to Apple's server farms. Cook did his best to deny it. Again.
"Much of what has been said isn't true," Cook told Muir in Friday's prime-time interview. "There is no back door. The government doesn't have access to our servers. They would have to cart us out in a box for that, and that will not happen."
So what information is Apple feeding to the government's spies? Cook says he can't tell us.
"We need to say, what data is being given, how many people it affects, how many accounts are affected. We need to be clear. And we have a gag order on us right now, so we can't say those things."
A polling firm tests the question raised this week by the New York Times and ABC News
"Has Apple lost its cool?"
That was the title of a New York Times blog post Wednesday -- itself a follow-up on a three-minute conversation between ABC News correspondent John Berman and the Times' Nick Bilton the day before. The video, available here and below the fold, is probably not safe for viewing at One MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 7, 2010 6:40 AM ET
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