What do Google, AOL, Skype, Facebook, Apple, Hotmail and Yahoo all have in common? They have all been caught turning over private user data to the government’s spy agency, the NSA. All these companies routinely turn over the emails, voice calls, text chats, photos, files and even logins and passwords of their users, including Americans.
“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” journalist Glenn Greenwald recently told Piers Morgan (who knows all about spying and hacking people’s private data). “And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”
In the aftermath of the PRISM spying scandal, the first and logical response was an expected one: lie. Thepresident did it, and so did the various companies implicated in the biggest US surveillance scandal ever exposed. To wit:
Zuckerberg: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.”
Google CEO Larry Page: “We have not joined any program that would give the US government – or any other government – direct access to our servers.”
Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”
One small problem: they are all lying.
The NYT explains just how the explicit handover of private customer data from Corporate Server X to NSA Server Y takes place.
The companies that negotiated with the government include Google, which owns YouTube; Microsoft, which owns Hotmail and Skype; Yahoo; Facebook; AOL; Apple; and Paltalk, according to one of the people briefed on the discussions. The companies were legally required to share the data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. People briefed on the discussions spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited by law from discussing the content of FISA requests or even acknowledging their existence.
In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.
The UK’s electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world’s biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America’s top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.
The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.
Classified information obtained by the Washington Post and The Guardian has revealed a massive, warrantless online surveillance system in use by a US military intelligence agency, giving access to Americans’ search history, emails, live chats and more.
The 41-page PowerPoint presentation, which has been verified by both papers and published almost concurrently on Thursday evening, outlines details of a previously undisclosed program known as PRISM, which allows the fabled military intelligence agency to harvest massive amounts of data on everything from electronic correspondence to file transfers.
The slides were meant to be declassified in 2036.
According to the documents, the program currently boasts access to some of the largest Internet companies in the world, with Microsoft thought to be the first corporation to sign onto the surveillance arrangement in 2007.
That company’s participation was followed by Yahoo in 2008, Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009, YouTube in 2010, Skype and AOL in 2011, and Apple joining in 2012. Meanwhile, cloud storage company Dropbox is described as “coming soon.”
With the participation of those companies, PRISM and thereby Washington intelligence workers have access to the bulk of Americans’ email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype) chats, file transfers, social networking details and more. Continue reading »
“Evil Facebook, now openly engaged in outrageous censorship and violations of the First Amendment, is suspending accounts that post photos of children holding up protest signs during the March Against Monsanto rally:”
The scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s illicit, politically-motivated scrutiny of conservative, patriot, Tea Party and pro-Israel groups continues to expand daily, as more information is learned about its depth, breadth and scope.
In addition to delaying tax-exempt status for these organizations, the IRS also demanded donor rolls and printouts of Facebook posts to determine who was contributing to the organizations and what sort of information they were putting out in regards to the current administration, and what books people were reading, according to a Politico review of documents from 11 of the targeted groups.
That review “shows the agency wanted to know everything – in some cases, it even seemed curious what members were thinking,” the website reported. “The review included interviews with groups or their representatives from Hawaii, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.”
Some tea party groups even worried they’d be punished for followers’ Facebook comments, Politico reported – a chilling prospect, given the huge First Amendment implications of any such shenanigans. Continue reading »
Guess why 18 year old Cameron D’Ambrosio is being held on one-million dollars bail and faces twenty years in prison? The answer is “terror charges.” This case is a perfect example of why I am so against using the word “terrorist” in general at this point. Think about all the pointless wars and erosion of domestic civil liberties that have been justified in the name of this never-ending Orwellian “war on terror.” We’ve been tricked, and in the future anyone that does anything the oligarchs and politicians don’t like will be named a “terrorist” and be subject to the aggressive terror laws that most states passed after 9/11. We need to take a giant cultural deep breath and react to terrorism in a sane way before we lose what’s left of our dignity and freedom. Be very suspicious of anyone who uses the word “terror” too often. They are trying to keep you in fear, and if you are in fear, you are easily controlled.
Yesterday, D’Ambrosio was absent from school, but messing around online, changing his profile photos and tweaking his status updates. At approximately 12:20 pm, one of his peers alerted MHS administration that the Methuen native had posted “disturbing verbiage” on Facebook, lyrics menacing enough for the school to call the city police.