NSA spying extends to Internet companies, reports say

Silcon Valley.

As if a top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand telephone records over to the National Security Agency weren't enough, the UK Guardian is now reporting that the federal government's spying program extends to online communications, through a program granting the NSA "direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US Internet giants." The program is called PRISM, and details about it were provided in yet another top secret document leaked to the British newspaper.

PRISM "allows them to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats," according to the article.

According to an article in The Washington Post: "The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: 'Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.'"

Interestingly enough, these new revelations are coming to light the same week that whistleblower Bradley Manning is standing trial for disclosing U.S. diplomatic cables and other classified government documents.


totally private, and could potentially be read by the authorities?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

Anyone who has been paying attention is not surprised by this week's news. That *is* the bad news.

Posted by Martha Bridegam on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

Anyone else know what that is? I do. It stands for "Licensed Interface Gateway" and every single network in the United States has one. It's a backdoor into communications networks and allows all transmissions to be intercepted, encrypted and then transferred to another location for analysis.

These have always existed on every network in the US. They used to be used only for data transmissions but they're now used for voice as well. They're not new either - they've been around for a long time.

Nothing you type or say into a wireless device or one connected to the Internet is private. NOTHING.

Avail yourself of encryption programs if you're concerned. Although that's a double-edged sword as encrypted packages are flagged coming through the crowd and will get you put on a watch list where everything you do will be scrutinized.

I know what I'm talking about here.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

potentially public. I'm shocked that SFBG are shocked as I thought everyone knew that.

Ironically, old-fashioned USPS small-mail may be more secure than electronic communication, because it cannot be scanned for keywords.

Proxy servers, VPN's and throwaway cell phones can help but, in the end, big brother can always hear you.

And honestly, if that deters some bad guys, leads to their capture and/or prevents crimes and terror incidents, I can live with it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

Unfortunately it's not this type of surveillance which catches "some bad guys" because bad guys adapt. There are a lot of ways of communicating without using the Internet. There's no evidence suggesting that the tremendous cost to these programs had led to the disruption of an attack - other than what certain senators and representatives ASSURE you they know but they can't be too specific. Most good intel is HUMINT not SIGINT. Unfortunately we've wasted a lot of time and effort trying to convince ourselves of the opposite.

Too much data is as bad as too little data. For NSA it's never enough.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

"Too much data is as bad as too little data. For NSA it's never enough."


"...Although an anonymous senior Obama administration official said that "on its face" the court order revealed by the Guardian did not authorise the government to listen in on people's phone calls, Tice now believes the NSA has constructed such a capability.

"I figured it would probably be about 2015" before the NSA had "the computer capacity … to collect all digital communications word for word," Tice said. "But I think I'm wrong. I think they have it right now."


Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

...its not schizophrenia when your TV really is watching you.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 5:50 am

But anyway, if we want to go back to a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then we'd have to roll back large amounts of legislation going back to the Civil War.

Personally I'd be happy with that, and especially the restoration of full States' rights, but I suspect that you don't really want what you think you want.

Failing that, I'll settle for no more 9/11's, and whatever that takes, speaking as someone with nothing to hide.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 6:12 am

"...we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers."


Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 6:11 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 6:53 am
Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 10:01 am

It means there have been zero AQ attacks on the mainland.

That is worse than a non-zero number.

Obviously it cannot be proven that the Patriot Act provisions prevented it, but the secret services and the government clearly believe that it has helped.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 10:40 am

I'm amazed at the positive posts and "as a matter of fact" comments in response to new NSA surveillance findings.

When the Bush administration wire tapped telephones after 9/11, the left called for his impeachment.

The Obama administration has BROKE THE DAM in the invasion of everyones personal privacy and all I see is a lot of yawning.

Posted by Bill on Jun. 07, 2013 @ 4:52 pm