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Leaked Documents Tell of NSA, FBI Internet Data Mining – Apple, Google, Facebook Deny Any Knowledge

Leaked Documents Tell of NSA, FBI Internet Data Mining – Apple, Google, Facebook Deny Any Knowledge

The Washington Post today is reporting that the National Security Agency, (NSA), and the FBI are tapping directly into the servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, examining audio and video chats, photos, emails, documents and logs to track foreign targets. The information comes from a top-secret document obtained by the Post.

Big Brother is Watching...
Big Brother is Watching…

The Washington Post:

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

PRISM Collection Details Slide - Click to view Full Size
PRISM Collection Details Slide – Click to view Full Size

The method used by the NSA to extract what it wants is, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

An NSA slide collection explaining the PRISM program, (one such slide is shown above), is available for viewing from the Post. [DIRECT LINK]

AllThingsD reports that Google, Apple, and Facebook have outright denied they are assisting the NSA in mining data.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement today, “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”

Google’s statement was: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”

Facebook also chimed in with a denial, saying, “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”

As of the time of this article, AllThingsD had not yet received statements from Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, AOL and Skype.

  1. MRonin ⚜ says:

    I’ve been saying this all over the place the last two days so I may as well say it here too. This is not news folks, the government has been doing this kind of thing for 20+ years now. I’ve talked with people and understand my surprise at other people being the least bit surprised by this. However I still need to say, this is and has been happening for a very long time and it’s not going to stop. The folks behind this are technically accountable but that’s simply a technicality. They have and will continue to monitor, collect, data mine, pull records, and eavesdrop when ever and on whom ever they wish to. To believe otherwise is to willfully bury your head in the sand.

    We can shout and demand action all we want and at some point a person or several persons in the government and possibly in the intelligence community will play act their mia culpa so folks will forget about this and then go right back to it. If you want privacy in your communication only speak face to face with people you know, while naked, in a sealed electronic black hole of a room, and only in a code that only the two of you know and can decipher then kill the person you were talking to so they can’t tell anyone else. Otherwise it’s all a best effort which can be thwarted easily by the ones providing said communication or by our own government.

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