U.S. intelligence program secretly probes Internet servers (4th amendment? We don't need no stinkin bill of rights!)
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. director of national intelligence late Thursday confirmed the existence of a secret program in which the government has tapped into the central servers of nine leading Internet companies to search for data potentially linked to terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation.
Under the 6-year-old program, code-named PRISM, the FBIand National Security Agency have searched for emails, videos, photographs and other documents.
The program's participants, the Washington Post reported, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley: Microsoft Corp, Yahoo Inc, Google Inc, Facebook Inc, PalTalk, AOL Inc, Skype, YouTube and Apple Inc.
In statements released late on Thursday, Google, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook denied that the government had "direct access" to their central servers. Microsoft said it does not voluntarily participate in any government data collection and only complies "with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers.
Meet PRISM / US-984XN - The US Government's Internet Espionage Super Operation
The disclosures involving this (and the prior) administration's Big Brother surveillance state, which would make Nixon blush with envy are now coming fast and furious (one wonders - why now: even that bastion of liberalism the NY Times, has turned against Obama). Although while the Guardian's overnight news that Verizon (and most certainly AT&T as well among others) was cooperating with the NSA on spying on US citizens, so far at least the internet seemed, if only to the great unwashed masses, immune. That is no longer the case following news from the WaPo exposing PRISM, a highly classified program, which has not been disclosed publicly before. "Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy." What PRISM does is to allow the NSA and the FBI to tap directly "into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time."
The secrecy is so deep we expect even the president himself may not know about it (but he does):
The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.
Of course, PRISM is from the government, and it is here to help you. But the question is why are some of the biggest private companies explicitly collaborating with what is now the biggest exposed spying operation in history, companies which include such household names as Microsoft Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Yes, everyone's beloved Apple was added in October 2012: the NSA knows all about your music playlist, not to mention has a database of all your iMessages.
It's not surprising to hear about this..... I think it is amazing that government is sanctioning the NSA for this program even though as a agency they supposedly have it in their charter that they are not allowed to do intelligence gathering against United States citizens. I guess this is yet another Patriot Act provision. It sounds like the program might be a extension of the Echelon program which the NSA has been running for years....
Yeah this actually goes back farther than PRISM. From something I wrote earlier:
There are programs like the FBI's Carnivore that is described as: "Carnivore was a system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. It used a customizable packet sniffer that can monitor all of a target user's Internet traffic. Carnivore was implemented in October 1997 and replaced in 2005 with improved commercial software such as NarusInsight."
Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world's biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme
Interesting dates for such Data,.. Ofcourse nothing to do with the current Administration,,, since the Commander in Chief claims to have no knowledge of the IRS underlings,,, Benghazi debacle,,,or the 30 Navy Seals shot down in Afghanistan,..Etc.,,Etc.,..
Plan Worked really nice for the Boston Marathon.
Surely, its not gonna have anything to do with the illustrious "Obama Care". ,Is It? (That only impacts Millions of people) . Waiting at BMV, is good practice. Got Tin Foil?
Funny. years ago the laws changed and people (mostly gangsters which was cool with everybody) phone calls, key strokes (texts) and computer conversations all started going through machines. They are generally Israel based, but it's been going on for a while openly. Now people are taking notice. lol
Wired profiles NSA's Keith Alexander, the general leading America into cyberwar:
INFILTRATION. SABOTAGE. MAYHEM. FOR YEARS FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER HAS BEEN BUILDING A SECRET ARMY CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING DEVASTATING CYBERATTACKS. NOW IT’S READY TO UNLEASH HELL.
A bit off topic:
The bureau filed 212 requests for such data to a national security court last year – a 1,000-percent increase from the number of such requests four years earlier, the reports show.
SAN FRANCISCO — In a secret court in Washington, Yahoo’s top lawyers made their case. The government had sought help in spying on certain foreign users, without a warrant, and Yahoo had refused, saying the broad requests were unconstitutional.
The Yahoo ruling, from 2008, shows the company argued that the order violated its users’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court called that worry “overblown.”