Speculations are that the grabbing of all Verizon customer phone logs was due to the Boston Bombers, leading us to believe that they were taking a hard look at who might have had contact with them, within and with out the U.S. It makes no sense, of course. Whether the order sought and received to take possession of Verizon customer records had anything to do with the brothers Tsarnaev or not, there can be no sense made of only asking for Verizon data. While there is no confirmation, we should assume that every phone provider received the same order. Include Internet companies as well. It only makes sense, not to mention the whistleblower who has come forward naming names.
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 one target or trace a whole network of associates, 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. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.
Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. Source: Washington Post
Senator Harry Reid says grabbing phone records has been going on for seven years and we should calm down. Senator Lindsey Graham said the government should “be doing” this. Karl Rove says this very procedure may be what has kept us safe.
The possession of our phone records didn’t keep Boston safe from the Tsarvaevs and we know we ignored critical information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s extreme views (or maybe those views are mainstream among Muslim peers and we just won’t admit it).
None of the Internet companies listed above have admitted they know they are being mined, but the Washington Post says the National Security Agency (NSA) relies on PRISM for 1 out of every 7 intelligence reports it spawns.
The article heavily intimates that these companies are participating in PRISM, never mind the denials, and here’s how scary it is:
Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type, the officer said.
Where is the information stored? Karen at The Lonely Conservative has the story of phone log storage, and probably thieved Internet records as well.
Our Government is after us (hello, are you reading this as I type????) and contrary to Senator Graham’s elitist opinion, they should not be doing this.
The ‘feel good moment’ in this story: the Washington Post article says the court approved only spying on foreign communications traffic. Do you believe them? What about Twitter? Others talking about PRISM: Hot Air, PC World, Business Insider and Zerohedge.
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