Friday, June 7, 2013

5 things you should know about NSA's PRISM

By now , most of us are very much awake to the fact that we are losing personal liberties and privacy to some form of global governance that wants to control each and every part of our lives in the guise of national security . Although we usually avoid politics and bilderberg  related articles , we cant help but post this because it has some relevance to technology which we use in the form of cell phones and most importantly - the internet . As you already know , the internet is not as safe as you might think it is . with bot-ware and different tracking systems , you are constantly being monitored by companies and different groups to know what you are into these days , although this seems to be  harmless at first , the purpose behind this might be much sinister  than what you think ,anyway , we are really not going to dig further into that because you all came here to read about the so called PRISM  program , so what is PRISM ?  , The name  PRISM,comes  after the prisms used to split light, which is used to carry information on fiber-optic cables and this is the mascot of the program  , so what this program basically does is , it grants  the NSA access to email, chat logs, any stored data, VoIP traffic, files transfers, social networking data, and the ominously named "Special Projects" which we have no idea of , and  in  a devastating report, the Washington Post says the PRISM Program has already been  spying on millions of American's (Citizens of the UK)and 39 other countries )  by tapping into 9 US based Internet companies. Here's what you need to know.

In another report from NBC Nightly News, under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every single phone call made in the US. This story is developing so stay tuned.

NBC News has learned that under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the U.S.

— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) June 6, 2013

1. The NSA and FBI Have Been Monitoring 9 US Internet Companies

According to the Washington Post, who managed to obtain private documents, the NSA and FBI have been tapping into the internal servers of 9 major US Internet companies. The aforementioned government agencies have been receiving audio, video, photos, emails, documents, and connection logs that essentially lets the NSA and FBI track an individual's location and contacts over a period of time.

2. PRISM Was Created in 2007

This is the first time PRISM has been announced publicly. It was officially established in 2007, and experienced "exponential growth" in the following six years, even though both the Obama and Bush administrations have been criticized heavily for invading on the civil liberties on the American people. It was so secret, in fact, that the members of Congress that knew about the program couldn't speak about it at all, even though there was multiple debates on the ever-graying line between government surveillance and the privacy of Americans.

3. This Comes A Day After The NSA/Verizon Scandal

PRISM's disclosure comes soon after reports of another controversial surveillance order. Reports have surged that the National Security Agency has been coercing Verizon into handing information of all phone calls from Verizon's 116 million customers since 2006. The President has justified the act saying that it is in an important tool int he war against terrorism

4. Obama Supports PRISM, But Not Bush's Warrantless Surveillance

PRISM resembles a similar operation issued by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaeda attacks on September 11. The surveillance was described as both "controversial" as well as "warrantless." Although Obama originally critisized the program, he presided over its "exponential growth."

5. Here are a List of the Companies That Worked With PRISM

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple have been involved in the program for years. Dropbox isn't an official member yet, but they're rumored to be joining soon. As you can see from the chart above from, the first member to join was Microsoft, on 9/11/2007. Yahoo soon follow, joining in February 2008. Google, Facebook, and PalTalk all joined in 2009, while Youtube was the only company joining PRISM in 2010. Skype and AOL joined in 2011, and Apple joined finally in 2012. According to the Washington Post, Apple resisted joining the program for more than five years until they joined in 2012. Twitter, interestingly, isn't listed as a member. The Washington Post notes that Twitter values user data tremendously, which may be a reason the company isn't listed as a member.

According to CNBC, Apple has denied ever hearing of the program. We've reached out to Microsoft and Apple, and will update the post when they get back to us.

Here's what a Google spokesperson said about the allegations regarding PRISM:

"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."

After speaking with Google, we can determine that the company denies knowing or participating in PRISM.

You can click the "PRISM" tag below to read more articles related to the topic

Credits -
TheRegister UK
(indie reporter - who didn't want her entire name to be posted)- assisted in combining multiple articles and writing the introduction.

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