White House admits it has 'access' to Facebook, Google

Obama has 'embraced' surveillance say critics after US confirms secret collection of data from web giants

LAST UPDATED AT 12:39 ON Fri 7 Jun 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this story was published, The Guardian has reported that the UK intelligence gathering organisation GCHQ has had access to the PRISM system since at least June 2010 and has generated 197 intelligence reports.

THE White House has confirmed that US intelligence agencies have been collecting data held by Facebook, Google, Apple and other web giants for nearly six years in a bid to ward off threats to national security.

The confirmation of a “classified program” giving agents access to material stored by some of the biggest internet companies was triggered by a report in The Guardian claiming that the National Security Agency (NSA) has had direct access to the servers used by web giants like Facebook and Google since 2007.

The paper said a secret NSA operation called PRISM gave it free access to emails, file transfers, search histories, live chats and other material. Details of PRISM are contained in a highly classified 41-slide Powerpoint presentation which is believed to have been used to explain its capabilities to US intelligence officers.

Some of the slides, which were published by The Guardian, show the names of the companies involved. As well as Facebook, Google and Apple, they include Yahoo, Microsoft, Paltalk, AOL, Skype and YouTube. The dates the companies joined the program are noted as well as the types of information collected under the program.

The Washington Post, which also obtained and published some of the PRISM slides, says they came from a “disenchanted” intelligence official who wanted to expose “government overreach”.
Several Internet companies insisted they “did not allow the government open-ended access to their servers” but complied with “specific lawful requests for information”, the New York Times reports.

The exposure of PRISM comes just a day after it was revealed that the NSA has been recording metadata from millions of phone calls made by users of the Verizon network.

Taken together, the two unfolding revelations, “open a window into the growth of government surveillance that began under the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” says the New York Times. Covert digital surveillance has “clearly been embraced and even expanded under the Obama administration,” it says.

Although US authorities have confirmed the existence of PRISM, they insist agents only have the right to access material posted by foreigners.

“It [PRISM] cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States,” said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. “Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.” · 

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Call me crazy but, perhaps we would not need to protect ourselves from "terrorist threats", if we were not waging war in distant lands.

Typical "Obuma Fan" : "Naaaahhhh, thaz jus krazee!!! GOD BLESS UMERIKA!!!"

Seriously

What if we went back in time (when if you were a suspected communist) you would end up in jail???? Imagine if we had social media, the internet, facebook, google+, reddit, etc. etc. etc.???? With the passing of each day we are loosing more and more of our basic civil rights! Terrorism has and will always exist, such is life.

he's not even supporting Obama. You're post shows you fail as a critical reader, and should be sent back to high school

Where is the exact admission to having access to Facebook, Google, et. al.? This headline is very untrue and very deceiving. They admitted to being able to collect metadata about phone calls, thats it.

"Although US authorities have confirmed the existence of PRISM,"

it's the first portion of the article. do you think the nsa builds a server campus the size of to and a half football fields just so they can store meta data?

You're the one who should be sent back to school. You can't even get the word "your" right~

Seriously

well since its been going on for six years, what president would that fall under. What the uber-fans of either republican or democrat fails to understand is. They both suck

"It [PRISM] cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States"

Then why is it attached to all of our ISP's, and not just theirs?

I don't think you get it though - the internet is not divided by land. It is completely shared equally by everyone, regardless of where you live. The US 'only' collecting data on everyone outside of the US is just as bad.

In regards to the internet, the US government decisions don't just affect their country's citizens. It affects everyone in the world. Your government has way too much power, and this is what they do with it.

How can we determine if Facebook is giving ANY rolling data to the NSA? Zuck released another highly parsed press release that doesn't directly answer that quewtion.

Anytime you access a site over http, anyone can examine the request. Surprise, that's the internet. I don't buy comments about access to servers, I doubt people in the government are smart enough to parse that much data.

You know you've lost the argument when your only reply is a grammatical correction.

Can you explain which war in distant lands we were waging on 9/11?

Fake headline. No one has admitted to tracking facebook accounts or Google search information.

He's*
Your*
lel

You've been bombing Iraq since 1992 and before September 11 you killed over 500,000 Iraqi children, which Osama bin laden also quoted as one of the reasons for the attack. That only scratches the surface of what you've been doing to the middle east before 9/11. The attacks were carried out on citizens because its the citizens who continue to elect the same war mongering presidents.

It can never be justified, violence is wrong. But in every country that you are raping, they will always have people who hate you.

By spy all the Nation what you achieve , the enemy the Nation of America all together we stop to be part of all this .

No shit. And what is the timeline for all of this stuff anyway? How will we know when we've killed all of the bad terrorist and get our freedom back? Something tells me that's not going to happen..wake the hell up America.

DEmn stupid news, they should leave this secret so that public wont react about there privacy.. CIA, Inteligence, FBI etc.. are obviously hacking there database, but they should not publicize there actions.. That's why there are called "classified" which like on the movies.. doing secret work of secret agent..

Terrorism is "ok", while STATE terrorism (organized and funded by the governments of countries "x,y and z" is NEVER ok. The US is one of those international terrorist state funders, and that is far from being ok.

Osama bin Laden is your source? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

please go back to watching TMZ.

And you believe your state isnt complicit? Check your mirror for fools.

'MURICA

How long until criticising this stuff is illegal too? It is not as if they could not very easily find out who has been making critical comments?

yup! Thats it! you cant go around being the bully of the world without reaction. Its just a matter of time until the rest of the world wakes up and realises that.

This system is a threat to all countries, how do they get away with this?

Irrelevant point.

Would you prefer a war on U.S. soil? If we don't fight them there, they will return here.

9/11 - inside job! wake up already!

OregonGrrrl:

Would you prefer a war on U.S. soil? If we don't fight them there, they will return here.Would you prefer a war on U.S. soil? If we don't fight them there, they will return here."

---------

who are "they"? if you know who "they" are, then kill them and leave the innocent ones alone. killing the innocent ones, and letting the dictators of your choice thrive, is what breeds terrorist mindsets.

at any rate, success and freedom (the main reasons given as why "they hate us") don't make sense as reasons for waging war on the u.s.. why don't they wage a war on the successful china or the free northern european countries? we hardly hear jihads declared against those countries and they're even more 'infidel'-like than the u.s., whose main religion is more related to islam.

No, but people working for the IT and related industries sure are.

バカ~地獄に落ちろ。

It's crazy it's "legal" for them to tell companies they have to lie.

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