The latest revelation about how deeply the government can watch every one of us. Allegedly. Executives of companies involved say they know nothing about the program.
But if they did know, could they tell? Or would they be under some sort of gag order similar to the Verizon metadata mining program?
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.
In a statement, Google said: “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.”
Several senior tech executives insisted that they had no knowledge of PRISM or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a programme. “If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge,” one said.
An Apple spokesman said it had “never heard” of PRISM.
Slides are available at WaPo, including this one:
The Wall Street Journal weighs in on NSA/Verizon. Will its cogent explanation stop the freaking out? Doubtful. http://t.co/jOLnY1kvIc
— Brit Hume (@brithume) June 7, 2013
Good post http://t.co/byeTjHNcVM Slow down, everybody.
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) June 7, 2013
We're in for the biggest game of "SQUIRREL" in history over PRISM. Don't fall for it. Stay focused on goal…finding out what's being done
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) June 7, 2013
Second Clapper statement including declassification info pic.twitter.com/wMeb7bMLcp
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) June 7, 2013
BREAKING: Intelligence chief declassifies phone data program details, says public must understand limits
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 7, 2013
Full Statement from James Clapper on PRISM revelations http://t.co/fay8yjRwL9
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 7, 2013
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