U.S. government: spying on citizens (1)


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Larry Page deny knowledge of PRISM

June 8, 2013

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Larry Page have responded to media reports on the Internet surveillance program PRISM. Both deny having any knowledge of the program before yesterday and say that they have given no one “direct access to our servers.”

A top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post describes Facebook and Google as corporate partners in a program that allows the National Security Agency and the FBI to track foreign targets by collecting data directly from Internet companies’ servers.

Several companies named in the document have denied involvement in PRISM.

“It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author,” authors Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras explain. “In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.”

Voice of Russia, washingtonpost.com


PRISM program: spying on citizens or protecting Americans?

The Washington Post reports that the National Security Agency launched a massive E-MAIL surveillance program. The program code-named PRISM provides the collection and analysis of users’ data directly from 9 largest web-services in the US - among them Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.

On Thursday the Director of the National Intelligence - James Clapper - said that the PRISM program was directed only at foreigners residing outside the US. This report about the Internet surveillance program came soon after the Guardian obtained a top secret federal court order that required the Verizon telephone company to hand over all the information regarding customer phone calls, to the NSA. The record contains calls both within the US and between the US and other countries.

VoR took to the streets of Washington DC and asked by-passers, how they feel about being wired. The reaction was devided.

And for more we are joined live on the phone by Zaid Jilani- Senior Reporter for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Hello, Mr.Jilani and welcome to the show! Is this news? Didn't we know that this was happening?

Basically we knew that Bush widely expanded his surveillance power. What we didn’t know was that they would be targeting people in this way. We didn’t know that they will be going to Verizon and asking for phone records of customers rather than saying we have 7 people who we suspect, we go to a court and get evidence. So, often when we know something bad is happening in sort of a vague broad aspect, but we actually see example of it. It is what creates the most outrage.

From the LEGAL point of view, how would you assess actions by NSA and FBI?

From what we know what they did was legal. That is probably the biggest outrage because in 2001 Congress passed patriot act and then in 2008-2012 in reauthorized law without any real changes that would defend our liberty. So, unfortunately Congress has made this wide surveillance legal which is probably the most frightening thing of all.

NSA says that this data collection is important for tracking terrorists. How protected is customers' private life then?

 They say this is important to responding terrorism and other crimes. Certainly people would think that if they found a certain person that was doing harm to America, they want to go to that person, request a warrant to survey them, we don’t complain, but when they are doing that to millions of people at the same time, then honestly I as an American don’t feel like my privacy and my rights are being respected. I think a lot of Americans feel the same way no matter what their political view is.

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Photo: February 17, 2011 – President Barack Obama joins a toast with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and other technology executives at a dinner in Woodside, California.
The “Day of Rage” in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for February 17, 2011...

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