NSA Harvests Facebook, Google, Apple User Data, Secret Files Claim

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NSA Harvests Facebook, Google, Apple User Data, Secret Files Claim

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Senior execs at the affected companies deny all knowledge of the PRISM program.

According to a Guardian newspaper reveal, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting user data directly from the servers of internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple via its PRISM program. PRISM apparently allows the NSA to collect material such as search histories, email contents, file transfers and live chats. So far, though all the allegedly affected companies have said they would comply with government requests according to the law, none of them have said that they were aware of PRISM or allowed that level of access. Google's statement says it "does not have a back door for the government to access private user data," and Apple says it has "never heard" of PRISM. According to the Guardian document, the NSA intends to add other providers - Dropbox is specifically mentioned - and "expand collection services from existing providers."

The reveal comes from a classified NOFORN top secret power point document, intended for training purposes. The document states, among other things, that PRISM - "one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses for NSA" - is heavily reliant on the participation of US internet firms, and "100% dependent on ISP provisioning." PRISM began as a Bush administration program, since renewed by the Obama administration. The NSA is a branch of the US Department of Defense, which means that - if true - the US military has effectively been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications.

A senior administration official has since stated that PRISM "is subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Executive Branch, and Congress. It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons." However, it would seem that the NSA needs only reasonable suspicion that one of the parties in the targeted communication is outside the US at the time the records are collected as per the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), amended, renewed in December 2012. Currently, the PRISM program has been cited as an information source in 77,000 intelligence reports.

At the affected companies, senior executives claimed to be confused by the NSA power point document. All of them said that they did as required by law, and received requests for information every day. They were used to that, but not to PRISM. Some, like Microsoft, said that information was only provided when a legally binding court order or subpoena was provided. "If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data," said Microsoft, "we don't participate in it."

Source: Guardian

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NSA looking through my history? I'll say to them what Frank Rossitano said to Liz Lemon

Then you're gonna see some disgusting stuff.

im wondering if its something that only the top of each of the companies knows about

It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted

Oh good, so they aren't spying on USAires... just everyone else. I guess they know about my insatiable appetite for puppy gifs.

Why are you blaming Facebook, Google and Apple when it clearly said they are dependent on ISP's... in case the general US public doesn't know your biggest telecommunication firms have blanket surveillance permissions (for terrorist hunts obviously), which means they are allowed to scan all the data you are sending or receiving.

Yes they gather the most from social net sites but not on their end, they do it when you are passing the data along and they have permission to do so.

"...intended for training purposes."

I've no doubt that the U.S. government is data mining online services, but training material seldom uses real information. I can't count the number of trainings I've attended that referenced "John Doe 123 Main Street Anytown, USA 123-456-7890".

So, I'd take the PowerPoint slide with a grain of salt. Because, seriously, they didn't get around to mining AOL until March 2011?

In the meantime, I'll be over here feeling vindicated for never having signed up for Facebook, et al. ;)

They are gonna see some real fucked up shit if they look through my history.

My BS detector did make a small spike when it said "top secret power-point presentation" I can't imagine anything top secret being giving with a bloody power point.

On the other hand, the US spying on people (or any other country spying on its or foreign people for that matter) isn't really a surprise.

They say stuff like "approved by court" to make you feel a little less raped, but at the end of the day the court is going to do what the government tells them.

and people are being accused of being paranoid about the kinect. microsoft were the first to climb into bed with this project, you really think there is not something that can overide any personal settings you have and turn the thing back on. its one thing to worry about hackers finding a loop hole its another having governments having the velvet rope pulled back for them.

I am honestly wondering what they intend to find.

They are going to be collecting trillions of gigabytes of cat.gifs and pictures of somebody's breakfast. I'm not happy about this, but I am actually curious as to what they seriously expect to find by monitoring everyone.

Ok, so, if this thing is real, it's a bigger problem only to people outside the US of A. I can't say I'm surprised or even afraid: If companies are providing "free service", it's because you are the product, no the client. This is how Facebook, Google and many other companies work. I know they have my data, I know they do with it whatever they want. What I really love about this kind of news is how they want to look protective: They will never confirm, even when they already did!

Longstreet:
My BS detector did make a small spike when it said "top secret power-point presentation" I can't imagine anything top secret being giving with a bloody power point.

One of my college instructors was a retired Air Force colonel. He had a disdain for PowerPoint because it was used extensively in the armed forces and it's actually a rather poor way to convey detailed information. He felt that daily briefings and mission overviews became more ambiguous with the advent of PowerPoint over, say, typed and mimeographed handouts.

But, yes, even the NSA uses PowerPoint and just like any other file, be it hardcopy or electronic, it can be stamped "Top Secret". And, as we're seeing here, it is a poor way of conveying detailed information.

Wait, did US intelligence agencies go openly on record saying they're spying on foreign citizens in foreign countries? Now, to quote my favorite scumbag of all times:

"Do the words 'political shitstorm' mean anything to you?"

I mean, show your hand in espionage buisness? Why in blue blazes would you do that?

CriticalMiss:
Oh good, so they aren't spying on USAires... just everyone else. I guess they know about my insatiable appetite for puppy gifs.

Actually they are, EFF has a timeline thing: https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline
There was also this article by Wired from a year or so ago: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

The Guardian article also has an image on what kind of data it pertains to:
image

I'm sure some people in these kinds of agencies are going to be very happy about Kinect integration in the new Xbox One. xD

CriticalMiss:
Oh good, so they aren't spying on USAires... just everyone else.

eltonborges:
Ok, so, if this thing is real, it's a bigger problem only to people outside the US of A.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say THAT. I mean, just look at the whole current debacle with the IRS. Just because they SAY they're only gonna use it on non-MURRICANS doesn't mean they WON'T use it on people within the country. Either way, the whole thing strikes me as kinda gross, y'know?

Then at the top of the list is a company who is releasing an "all in one entertainment system" with a mandatory always connected monitoring device set up in my living room... There is no way I am letting that machine into my house.

Oh joy only non US citizens so that means all its NATO allies have been spied on as well. A treacherous act to say the least. A direct violation of a countries sovereign rights through the back door.

Can I hear you now?
Good

Joy. I do think at times like these someone just got shot in a back room. Well this is offensive lets see how the rest of the world takes this. Oh and i'm sure what they totally ignored everything inside the USA because they said so and are such truthful and honest people... yea they spied on everyone even there own... expect those mask wearing hackers to go nuts anytime soon.

Bush was wrong to start this and Obama is wrong to continue it. :P

to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted

I still find it utterly hilarious that there's actually people that upon reading this go "Oh, well that's okay then". And to make it even better those people are living in a country that likes to pride itself on it's sense of freedom and democracy.

Ah well, just Americans being American. Nothing all too new there.

I'd better be careful what I write on this forum. The NSA might give my political comments to the IRS, and they'll deny my kids a lung transplant or something. I'd better avoid calling anyone about it too. I'd say the press would get involved, but they'd just be named co-conspirators and investigated along with anyone who leaked the information.

Well, at least I feel safe...

I think we all kinda knew this already. People had joked about it and I can't think of any better way to get intel on people. So this is just something I'm surprised hasn't already been verified.

I'm not shocked. This has been going on for some time now and it's only going to get worse. I can go on a long political/corporate tirade right now but it wouldn't be anything that hasn't been already said. But I will say this, remember how the Xbone and its kinnect wants to always be online and checking with the mothership every 24 hours. They aint building a data collection center in Utah for shits and giggles people.

I hope the government has a taste for black metal and amputee porn, because that's the data they're getting out of me.

Oh, I hope you Americans will enjoy being spied on by your kinects!

Wait... The NSA only spies on us dirty foreigners? And they even have the audacity to defend themselves by saying that they're not spying on US citizens but only on foreigners outside the USA? HOW IS THAT A GOOD THING!
*the last bit came from an article from the guardian/BBC. The US security chief defended the thing by saying it was entirely legal, the obama administration was not out of bounds and oh yeah, they weren't spying on people on American soil. That makes it totally okay. It's the last bit which really pissed me off*

This bit:

James Clapper, director of US national intelligence, said in a statement on Thursday the internet communications surveillance programme was "designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States".

"It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States," he added.

source

For a country which loves freedom so much, the US is sure turning into a police state... Shame, there's some pretty cool people there :C

America: land of the free. Or at least, the government is free to do whatever it wants. At least they aren't spying on me. Unless I talk to anyone outside the states. Which is just about every time, what with the internet being international and all.
So, bets on how long it takes for other countries to get pissed enough to start a war?

commasplice:

CriticalMiss:
Oh good, so they aren't spying on USAires... just everyone else.

eltonborges:
Ok, so, if this thing is real, it's a bigger problem only to people outside the US of A.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say THAT. I mean, just look at the whole current debacle with the IRS. Just because they SAY they're only gonna use it on non-MURRICANS doesn't mean they WON'T use it on people within the country. Either way, the whole thing strikes me as kinda gross, y'know?

While that isn't a problem for the US government - they don't care, and know their constituents don't care - about them spying on other countries' populations, this could potentially become a very real problem for the companies involved here. These are multinational corporations, who rely on many foreign markets, who are here implicated in breaching privacy in a massive, ongoing operation run by the U.S. government. That's a BIG no-no, and I wouldn't be surprised to see these companies duck out, or face massive public backlash.

And for those who are asking whether it's a real thing, yes, it's a real thing. Obama has come out in defense of the program. (Citation: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22820711).

Artemis923:
I hope the government has a taste for black metal and amputee porn, because that's the data they're getting out of me.

Yeah, you tell 'em!

I really don't care if I get warning or banned for this post but all can say is this to the NSA
......................//)
....................,/../
.................../..../
.............//'...'/`
........../'/.../..../......./\
........('(.......... ~/'...')
.........\.................'...../
..........''...\.......... _.
............\..............(
..............\.............\...

Scene: NSA Headquarters, interior, March 31, 2011, (around lunchtime):
"When are we going to get Apple on board for all of the data mining...that we do? They're still a hold out? Shit. When is Steve Jobs going to die?!?! We have to show something this year. What else could we get? AOL? Is that still a thing? Okay. Get that...before lunch. We'll work on Apple in October."

What is the Y-axis on this graph. Why is there a triangle behind the yellow text bubbles? Is it a flat rate ~$20million per year regardless of the number of companies "indoctrinated"? Regardless of illegalities and immoralities, this is simply a poor graph.

I don't want to live a cyberpunk distopia ;_;

How far back in time do we have to go to hit the money spot of most modernity and least government life-ruining, holding you hostage by every move you make? I'd guess late 70's early 80's. Maybe early 90's but by then everyone seemed fairly caged in by their own personal information by then.

God, what is the future going to look like...

Good to know the USA is spying on me because I'm a non-USA citizen outside the USA -.-

Fuck off NSA Australia and everyone else do not like you.

"It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons."

Even if this wasn't almost certainly blatant lie, here's why it doesn't matter:

"Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade, Md., key in "selectors," or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target's "foreignness.""

"Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as "incidental," and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect's inbox or outbox is swept in. Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two "hops" out from their target, which increases "incidental collection" exponentially."

And here's the kicker, from Inspector General absurdist mastermind I. Charles McCullough III: "...it would violate the privacy of Americans in NSA data banks to try to estimate their number."

My god, who knew the Monty Python of our times was working for the NSA? I can't even touch that statement, it's so absurd.

Oh know, the government knows that I like to search for the fonts that are in games!
Seriously I gave up the idea that any people had actual privacy at all after the Patriot Act was signed way long ago. In this day and age privacy is something that is said to be there, but doesn't actually exist as long as the internet and social media are out there.
Still, just put this on the list of things I don't like about my government, which the NSA probably knows about. XD
Plus corporations have been doing this for ages as well so everything in our lives is always being monitored.

Constant Vigilance!
0,..,0

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