Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Jun 2013 11:18 UTC
Legal The term 'direct access' seems to be the central issue when it comes to the coordinated PR campaign from Silicon Valley, and a new article from The Washington Post seems to clarify it all quite a bit. "Intelligence community sources said that this description [i.e., direct access], although inaccurate from a technical perspective, matches the experience of analysts at the NSA. From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may 'task' the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company's staff." This seems to explain why the leaked official documents speak of 'direct access' even though the companies themselves deny it. The leaked documentation probably wasn't written by a technical expert, so he simply used a term that describes the end result (i.e., access whenever, wherever, whatever), but not the actual technical workings (i.e., the system does not directly tap into the companies' own servers). Update: The Guardian has released a new slide from the NSA slide deck: it speaks of "collection directly from the servers" of several US companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and so on. It also mentions directly tapping into the very cables that carry data to and from the US. I wonder how long Silicon Valley will continue to lie and/or legalese around the issue. Man up for once.
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RE: Comment by Deviate_X
by WorknMan on Sun 9th Jun 2013 18:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Deviate_X"
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all this kerfuffle, to be honest i'm finding it hard to care, i'm sure it was generally assumed to be going on anyway...

Me too. I figured something like this was going on... if not from the government, than from somebody else. As a result, I pretty much assume that any info I give these companies is public knowledge. I think others would be wise to do the same. Doesn't mean you don't have to not do business with them, just don't hand them anything that's super private.

It would be interesting if someone caught Microsoft/Apple scanning the personal files of its users on their local drives and handing them over to the government. But I don't think they would be stupid enough to try it ;)

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