So this is a pretty big bombshell. The Washington Post is reporting that both the NSA and FBI are directly tapping into the servers of 9 major US internet companies--including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and YouTube--and are "extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time."
Basically, they're spying on us.
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 knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.
An internal presentation on the Silicon Valley operation, intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.
That is a remarkable figure in an agency that measures annual intake in the trillions of communications. It is all the more striking because the NSA, whose lawful mission is foreign intelligence, is reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil.
The entire thing is explained in this powerpoint obtained by the Washington Post, and this video elaborates.:
So, should you care? This take seems to sum it up:
The NSA secretly collecting phone data from millions of Verizon customers is only worrisome if u care about stuff.— Official Jon Lajoie (@jonlajoiecomedy) June 6, 2013
The whole thing bring up a lot of questions about personal privacy, the involvement of the companies, and WHAT IS FREEDOM? The basic bombshell of the whole thing is that PRISM provides enough information “to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”
As of 7:08 pm, Apple has denied involvement.
Apple to @cnbc: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers.."— CNBC (@CNBC) June 6, 2013
There's sure to be more on this. For now, it looks like that society from V for Vendetta seems more and more like the future every year.