U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post. The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA. PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Sens.
Apple, Google, Microsoft and 6 other companies reportedly feeding NSA, FBI info through data sharing pact [Updated] Today the Washington Post reported that through a $20 million program known as PRISM, a number of US-based Internet companies have allowed the US government to tap “directly into [their] central servers.” Companies that are said to be participating knowingly include: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, AOL, PalTalk, with Dropbox tipped to be coming up next. To call this a painfully disgraceful flaunting of user privacy would be understatement. This breaking information follows news first reported by the Guardian of a massive, pervasive spying effort by the US government on the calling data of its own citizens. Following this leak, NBC is now reporting that “under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the US.” Update: NBC News has confirmed from two sources that the PRISM program exists. According to the Washington Post, Microsoft is listed as the first firm to take part in PRISM. Photo via Matthew Keys What was shared?
Secret program gives NSA, FBI backdoor access to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft data The US National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been harvesting data such as audio, video, photographs, emails, and documents from the internal servers of nine major technology companies, according to a leaked 41-slide security presentation obtained by The Washington Post and The Guardian. According to The Washington Post, the program's slides were provided by a "career intelligence officer" that had "firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities," and wished to expose the program's "gross intrusion on privacy." The program, codenamed PRISM, is considered highly classified and has never been made public before. The list of companies involved are the who's who of Silicon Valley: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Dropbox, though not yet an official part of the program, is said to be joining it soon. These companies have all willingly participated in the program, says the Post.
NSA has backdoor access to Internet companies' databases Update, June 7, 2013:The National Security Agency has not obtained direct access to the companies' systems, contrary to earlier claims, CNET is reporting. A top-secret surveillance program gives the National Security Agency surreptitious access to customer information held by Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies, according to a pair of new reports. The program, code-named PRISM, reportedly allows NSA analysts to peruse exabytes of confidential user data held by Silicon Valley firms by typing in search terms. PRISM reports have been used in 1,477 items in President Obama's daily briefing last year, according to an internal presentation to the NSA's Signals Intelligence Directorate obtained by the Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers. This afternoon's disclosure of PRISM follows another report yesterday that revealed the existence of another top-secret NSA program that vacuums up records of millions of phone calls made inside the United States.
NSA Is Wired Into Top Internet Companies' Servers, Including Google and Facebook | Threat Level [Editor’s Note: This story was based on an article originally published by the Washington Post indicating that the government had direct access to the servers of internet companies. The Post later revised its story after the companies acknowledged they provided the government with data requested under court order but did not give the government direct access to their servers. As if news of the National Security Agency collecting phone records on millions of Americans wasn’t enough, a new report reveals that the NSA and FBI are directly tapped into central servers at nine U.S. internet firms, in order to provide constant monitoring of audio, video, photos, emails and documents as well as connection logs. Click to Open Overlay Gallery The companies whose servers are being mined are reportedly Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. The Post notes that PalTalk hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and during the ongoing Syrian civil war.
This leaked slide contains the dates when Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others joined PRISM The following slide from the Washington Post is painful timeline of when major Internet companies joined PRISM, a program that has seen user data and other information directly passed to the United States government and its intelligence arms. News of the program broke moments ago. For the Washington Post’s original story, head here. Microsoft has been part of PRISM for 2,095 days. Perhaps the only humorous part of the above image is the admission that PRISM costs a mere $20 million per year. Apple put up the largest fight against the government incursion, as TNW reported: According to the report, Apple held out for five years after Microsoft became a part of PRISM. The simple implication of that point is that Microsoft put up the least fight, given the two companies positions at opposite ends of the above timeline. Top Image Credit: Steven Depolo
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Dropbox deny providing direct access to PRISM surveillance program Apple is among the nine technology companies attached to PRISM, the just-leaked government program that reportedly allows the NSA and FBI to access US citizens' sensitive data in total secrecy. There's just one problem: Apple says it's never heard of PRISM. That's according to identical statements provided to both CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. The Verge has received the same statement, with Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling flatly adding, "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order." Other companies linked to PRISM in a leaked slide presentation are also issuing statements. Microsoft tells The Verge that "we provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. Facebook is also getting on the record. A Yahoo spokesperson has provided us with a statement.
New leak shows feds can access user accounts for Google, Facebook and more It’s worse than we thought. Just one day after disclosing a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”) The newspapers describe the system as giving the National Security Agency and the FBI direct access to a huge number of online commercial services, capable of “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.” Since the news broke, Apple, Google, and Facebook have all gone on the record. "Protecting the privacy of our users and their data is a top priority for Facebook. Over five years of data
Forget phones, PRISM plan shows internet firms give NSA everything It has been a rough 24 hours for the US National Security Agency. First a leaked court order (and the political reaction) showed that the agency routinely harvests US mobile-use data, and now a new document has been uncovered that claims to show the larger internet companies do the same thing. A 41-page presentation, given in April this year and obtained by the Washington Post, details the PRISM project, a system described as being the largest single source of information for NSA analytic reports. PRISM apparently gives the NSA access to email, chat logs, any stored data, VoIP traffic, files transfers, social networking data, and the ominously named "Special Projects". Nine companies are currently part of PRISM. Apple held out for five years, but signed up in October last year, and video chat room provider PalTalk is also on board, with DropBox billed as coming soon. The claimed PRISM participants El Reg has contacted companies named in the report and has receive few answers.