The NSA’s PRISM: What They’re Saying

The NSA is not tapping anything; Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google, etc… and any other Social Media is giving your Information willingly away.

Remember a couple years back Barry met with all the Big Kahunas in California?  Even Steve Jobs was alive and present.

Here is some of the result of that “Closed Door” meeting.

Do you people rem

Last night’s news cycle was dominated by a story from The Washington Post, which revealed the existence of PRISM, a program within the National Security Agency that reportedly allows the government to tap into the servers of major Internet firms like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Apple.

The nine firms in question quickly denied providing the NSA with access to their networks, with several saying they’d never even heard of PRISM.

Commenting on the report today, President Obama defended the NSA, arguing that Congress has authorized the agency’s activities, and that the resulting program strikes “the right balance,” the Post reported today.

Efforts like PRISM are “under very strict supervision by all three branches of government and they do not involve listening to people’s phone calls, do not involve reading the emails of U.S. citizens and U.S. residents,” Obama said.

Not everyone is as confident, particularly civil liberties groups, which called on the Obama administration to knock it off.

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  • American Civil Liberties Union: “The stories published over the last two days make clear that the NSA – part of the military – now has direct access to every corner of Americans’ digital lives. Unchecked government surveillance presents a grave threat to democratic freedoms. These revelations are a reminder that Congress has given the executive branch far too much power to invade individual privacy, that existing civil liberties safeguards are grossly inadequate, and that powers exercised entirely in secret, without public accountability of any kind, will certainly be abused.”
  • Center for Democracy and Technology: “In the face of this avalanche of frightening revelations about the breadth of the NSA’s surveillance programs, one thing is clear: It’s time for a reckoning. The American people should not have to play guessing games about whether and how their own government is monitoring them. Just like the Church Committee that was convened after the revelations of illegal spying in the 1970s, we need a sustained investigation into how far these programs reach into the private lives of American citizens.”
  • Free Press: “The government is not only tracking phone calls hundreds of millions of Americans make but is also accessing our electronic communications — with the cooperation of the top Internet companies. This makes a mockery of our constitutional rights. It’s time for the Obama administration to put a stop to these expansive spying programs and to come clean about any additional surveillance schemes. And it’s time for the Internet companies we’ve entrusted with our personal information to take a stand against government spying.”

The PRISM revelation came after it was revealed that the NSA also required – via secret court order – that Verizon turn over customer call data for a three-month period beginning in April. In the wake of that story, members of Congress who deal with intelligence issues defended the NSA’s actions.

“A primary mission of the U.S. intelligence community is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, and Congress works closely with the executive branch to ensure that the authorities necessary to keep our country safe are in place,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein and ranking member Saxby Chambliss said in a joint statement. “One of these authorities is the ‘business records’ provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under which the executive branch is authorized to collect ‘metadata’ concerning telephone calls, such as a telephone number or the length of a call. This law does not allow the government to listen in on the content of a phone call.”

The White House has briefed Congress “extensively” on the use of FISA and “detailed information has been made available to all members of Congress prior to each congressional reauthorization of this law,” the senators said.

In the House, Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers and ranking member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger has a similar statement.

“The collection described with yesterday’s disclosure of a purported court order is consistent with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as passed by Congress, executed by the Executive Branch, and approved by a Federal Court,” they said. “The FISA business records authorities are used to track foreign intelligence threats and international terrorists. It is important that the American people understand that this information does not include the content of anyone’s conversations and does not reveal any individual or organization names.”

The duo said the House Intelligence Committee “routinely reviews all FISA activities.”



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