Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Jun 2013 11:40 UTC
Legal This story is getting bigger and bigger. Even though most Americans probably already knew, it is now official: the United States government, through its National Security Agency, is collecting the communications and data of all American citizens, and of non-Americans using American services, through a wide collaboration with the large companies in technology, like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and so on. Interestingly enough, the NSA itself, as well as the US government, have repeatedly and firmly denied this massive spying on Americans and non-Americans took place at all.
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Gag Orders
by Alfman on Fri 7th Jun 2013 13:50 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

"What's most peculiar is that the companies involved in PRISM all deny being part of it. The Washington Post contacted the companies involved, and Facebook and Apple said they have no knowledge of the program, and thus are not involved with it - which is odd, because the official government documentation clearly mentioned them."

Actually, assuming all of this is true it shouldn't be peculiar at all. It's very likely they've all been ordered to remain silent on the matter. It doesn't make it any less wrong, but it does put them in a complex situation. Anyone who violates the gag order would likely face imprisonment, even if only confirming the program to reporters.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Gag Orders
by bhtooefr on Fri 7th Jun 2013 14:23 in reply to "Gag Orders"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Or even, those companies told to put forward people who legitimately knew nothing, when the media came knocking.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Gag Orders
by gfg233 on Fri 7th Jun 2013 14:26 in reply to "Gag Orders"
gfg233 Member since:
2013-06-07

Agreed, and this was always going to leak out. What's surprising about this is that it took 5 years to leak to the public despite so many companies being involved. You do wonder how many employees at Apple/Google/Facebook are involved and aware of it. Perhaps it just highlights once again American culture, how seriously employees take confidentiality agreements over there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Gag Orders
by Soulbender on Sat 8th Jun 2013 02:06 in reply to "Gag Orders"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And it's also not certain that they are *unwilling* participants.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Gag Orders
by galvanash on Sat 8th Jun 2013 03:21 in reply to "Gag Orders"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

"What's most peculiar is that the companies involved in PRISM all deny being part of it. The Washington Post contacted the companies involved, and Facebook and Apple said they have no knowledge of the program, and thus are not involved with it - which is odd, because the official government documentation clearly mentioned them."


Read the leaked court order...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-tel...

If you parse the legalese what it basically says that acknowledging that you even know this agreement exists to anyone outside of the participants in the court order (the NSA and the FBI) is a breach of the court order.

In other words any company complying with this order is bound by law to say that they are not aware of it. Even admitting to the public that the order exists is breaching it...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Gag Orders
by gfg233 on Sat 8th Jun 2013 08:27 in reply to "RE: Gag Orders"
gfg233 Member since:
2013-06-07

What is the alternative explanation to these companies lying? That they've been hacked by the US government for the past 6 years without any of the noticing? Hmm, interestingly according to the BBC - Twitter were invited to join Prism last year but they said no.

Also if you look at the denial statements, they are more or less the same from many of the companies giving the impression this may all be coordinated. It's a bunch of waffle. Not even one of the companies has threatened legal action to the Guardian, Washington Post or to anyone else for tarnishing their image.

That said other theories are appearing:
http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2...

Edited 2013-06-08 08:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3