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PRISM: Here’s What You Need to Know About the US Internet Monitoring Scandal
The Next Web ^ | June 7,, 2013 | John Russell

Posted on 06/07/2013 1:52:12 AM PDT by lbryce

The US tech scene has been shaken with allegations that authorities are monitoring US and international Internet users on Facebook, Google, YouTube and countless other services from the likes of Yahoo, Apple, Skype, AOL, Microsoft and more.

The news broke via reports from the Washington Post and the Guardian, and has rightly garnered coverage across many news websites (TNW included) but the sudden rush of news has left many people unsure of all the details, or confused by the onslaught of details.

Here’s our essential guide to understanding what PRISM is, why it is important and other details that you need to know. The basics

PRISM is the code name for the data collection program which was born out of the Protect America Act. The legislation was approved by Congress in 2007 that allowed warrantless interception of foreign-to-foreign communications.

The program is intended for use as a counter-terrorism tool that allows US authorities to access data and information belonging to suspects that they believe pose a threat to US national security.

Both the Washington Post and Guardian claim that the NSA has “direct” access to the system belonging to nine Internet companies, in order to monitor data. That information was required in order to “effectively plan, direct and conduct detection and monitoring of illegal narcoterrorist activities”, as highlighted in a past job opening.

The companies from which data is gathered include: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple. Other services including — Dropbox — were reportedly set to be added to the roster.

Controversy around the program circles around whether the tech firms were silently complicit with the monitoring, and whether PRISM monitored US citizens illegally (without warrants.)

The Guardian states that the method of monitoring traffic “opens the possibility” of collecting US data without warrants.

The Post looks at that issue in more detail, concluding that the data capturers are “at least 51 percent confident” that a target is foreign. That, it concludes, means substantial amounts of “incidental” US data could be captured — but the issue is dismissed in NSA training manuals dismiss as being “nothing to worry about”.

The Post says that “a career intelligence officer” leaked the slides because he believes the agency’s role to be a “gross intrusion on privacy”. The anonymous source added: “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.”

Unanswered questions

There are numerous questions remaining unanswered at this point, chiefly:

All but two firms have denied actively participating in the program, suggesting that the NSA may be filtering and monitoring traffic independently. Both the Guardian and Post implicated the firms as willingly co-operating and opting into the program, so any fact that disproves that would be hugely significant.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype and Apple have all refuted their involvement in the program, and denied knowledge of it.

A number of the companies stipulated that they don’t provide “direct” access to their systems, which raises the possibility that the NSA may have ‘indirect’ access, perhaps via an API, which would suggest the firms cooperated.

The Washington Post has since backed down on its initial claim that tech companies “participate knowingly” in PRISM data collection.

Despite these denials it is important to consider that the NSA would not have released details of the program name to Internet companies, as ACLU analyst Christopher Soghoian points out. Furthermore, those who receive national security letters are prevented by law from discussing their existence in public.

A statement from James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, claimed the Guardian and Post reports both “contained numerous inaccuracies”. Clapper categorically denied that PRISM spies on US citizens, but he did not elaborate on the other alleged details that were misreported. That leaves the same questions unanswered.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: noendinsight; obama; scandal
The scandals keep on piling up in new and different ways. The really, really scary part is that 2016 is an comparatively eternity away. If you think calling the present situation scary is being paranoid,ask yourself this question?
Can you really believe the Obama Administration is capable of running the government in a responsible, qualified, straightforward manner? Can you really believe this is the last, final scandal you're going to hear emanating from the Obama Administration? Scared yet?
1 posted on 06/07/2013 1:52:12 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

I think if all this data just went into a pit...with no outside world connection to it....and you appointed a special federal judge for twelve months to have only one single job of running the facility and clearing people who might need access.....it might all work.

But there needs to be a law in effect that if anyone used the data for political efforts or brought data out to punish people....then there has to be a minimum of ten years of prison time. You get dragged back to Utah where the data is stored, face the federal judge, with no jury, and accept the punishment handed out. No Presidential pardons allowed. The threat to abuse? It has to be so painful that no political party would ever abuse the situation.


2 posted on 06/07/2013 1:57:33 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: lbryce
seems like they knew what I was going to type....

We should plan an overthrow of salt over our shoulders to word off broken mirrors and the ladder it topples.

It is in code.

!enitlavO erom knirD

3 posted on 06/07/2013 2:00:52 AM PDT by urbanpovertylawcenter (where the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: lbryce
Can you really believe this is the last, final scandal you're going to hear emanating from the Obama Administration? Scared yet?

I imagine President Valerie Jarrett has a lot of mischief still in place with more on the way.

4 posted on 06/07/2013 2:04:56 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: lbryce

Oops. I bet their computers have already scanned ours posts looking for the magic words so they can haul our butts in for at least an IRS audit or worse.


5 posted on 06/07/2013 2:07:41 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: lbryce
Hey Obama....if you want something to read......I don't mind if you read my stuff
6 posted on 06/07/2013 2:10:02 AM PDT by The Raven
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The legislation was approved by Congress in 2007

Bitch at the Congressional douche bags, not the NSA.
7 posted on 06/07/2013 2:10:42 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Right Wing Assault
I bet their computers have already scanned ours posts looking for the magic words...

Here is a list of the magic words. Everyone should just put that list in an email and mass mail it out. Overload their system. Magic Words

8 posted on 06/07/2013 2:15:07 AM PDT by TheCipher (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself- Mark Twain)
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To: lbryce
That information was required in order to “effectively plan, direct and conduct detection and monitoring of illegal narcoterrorist activities”, as highlighted in a past job opening.

OK...then cough up all the Fast and Furious e-mails.....

9 posted on 06/07/2013 2:19:43 AM PDT by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: lbryce

If this system worked, or even exists to the degree that is implied...

then why didn’t it catch the Boston Marathon bombers? After all, they must have looked at the AQ-sponsored website that described how to make a pressure cooker bomb.

The NSA knew that they went to Chechnya.


10 posted on 06/07/2013 2:30:11 AM PDT by kidd
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To: TheCipher

Just looked at the list of “Magic Words”...Mecca, Allah, Muhammed, nor Allahu Achbar are on it. So according to DHS, Islam must not be a threat.


11 posted on 06/07/2013 2:38:46 AM PDT by Typelouder
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To: Typelouder
I am sure they also have a "special list" with the real threat words- patriot, tea party, conservative,Constitution, God .....
12 posted on 06/07/2013 2:43:57 AM PDT by TheCipher (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself- Mark Twain)
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To: lbryce

Ah no its just de white man tryin ta take de black man down. All dis is lies I tell you...lies. Obama would never do dis to his own people.

Idiots. We tried to warn them. Our instincts were right when the hair on our necks went up but they refused to listen because they finally had their black champion, their first voice, in the white house who would pay back the white man. Now he has proven he’s the worst president in history and they cannot stand that we were right.


13 posted on 06/07/2013 3:16:17 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: lbryce; All
Zuckerberg Awarded CIA Surveillance Medal

(HE never believed in personal privacy from the get go - so stated in the very beginning of his venture)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/07/10/mark-zuckerberg-awarded-cia-surveillance-award/

This was a year ago.

Why is it news only now?

(I used to be an investigative reporter. Investigative reporters are not a dying breed - they are dead, long gone.

Now ‘reporters’ just report to their desks and wait for their talking points feed from their editor, who just got them from the WH.)

14 posted on 06/07/2013 3:35:24 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: lbryce

Looks like the Washington Post was instructed to front-run a scandal about to break by discrediting any claims of uninvolvement to me. Google I can believe, Facebook I can believe. But all of them? Not believable.


15 posted on 06/07/2013 3:37:37 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Gene Eric
Both the Washington Post and Guardian claim that the NSA has “direct” access to the system belonging to nine Internet companies, in order to monitor data. That information was required in order to “effectively plan, direct and conduct detection and monitoring of illegal narcoterrorist activities”,

Like the orange drink Tang grew out of the space program, this is just one more spinoff from our dubious war on drugs but this spinoff could be poisonous.

When are we going to stop waging war against ourselves with ever more Star Wars weapons? We have already used drones, what's next, nuclear weapons? When will we finally decide that the war on drugs is killing our democracy and has already gone a long way toward killing our Constitution?


16 posted on 06/07/2013 4:13:24 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: lbryce

Up here in space
I’m looking down on you
My lasers trace
Everything you do

You think, you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m electric, electric spy
I’m protective, electric eye

Always in focus
You can’t feel my stare
I zoom into you
But you don’t know I’m there

I take a pride in probing
All your secret moves
My tearless retina takes
Pictures that can prove

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m electric, electric spy
I’m protective, electric eye

Electric eye
In the sky
Feel my stare
Always there

There’s nothing you can do about it
Develop and expose
I feed upon your every thought
And so my power grows

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m electric, electric spy
I’m protective, electric eye
I’m electric, electric spy
I’m electric, protective, detective, electric eye

Electric Eye, by Judas Priest.


17 posted on 06/07/2013 4:41:59 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: Gene Eric

“Bitch at the Congressional douche bags, not the NSA.”

That would be “Bitch at the DEMOCRAT Congressional douche bags.....” as THAT’s the year the Democrats took over Congress. Oh I’m sure there were some RINO’s involved in the “yays”, but they are Democrat’s incognito.


18 posted on 06/07/2013 4:47:23 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: pepsionice

Protecting Your Privacy from Tools like RIOT and PRISM
http://tamarawilhite.hubpages.com/hub/Protecting-Your-Privacy-from-Tools-like-RIOT-Software


19 posted on 06/07/2013 5:44:30 AM PDT by tbw2
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To: pepsionice
The threat to abuse? It has to be so painful that no political party would ever abuse the situation.

That kind of threat requires a big, mean government to carry out.

The very same big, mean government who would be looking at the data in the first place.

Government cannot and will not police itself - the only viable option is to constantly strive to keep it within Constitutional limits.

We can take an occasional terrorist attack - we can't take warrantless searches, unlimited blackmail of office-holders, and an unrestrained legal code which leads honest citizens to inadvertently commit an average of three felonies a day.

20 posted on 06/07/2013 5:51:01 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: lbryce

They are only running PRISM to protect us from terrorists. Just like they are only running the IRS to raise revenue.....


21 posted on 06/07/2013 6:33:35 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: lbryce

People are forgetting that this government has identified Tea Partiers, gun control advocates and other conservatives as “terrorists”. When we read that the phone spying efforts were aimed at rooting out terrorists and their networks, I do not think that the government thinks that “terrorist” means what we think it means. I think that they wanted to monitor US calling patterns to identify conservatives and their allies.


22 posted on 06/07/2013 8:08:57 AM PDT by Piranha (We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.)
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To: lbryce; All
BTW - It's time to bring out the fact that written into ObummerCare - give the IRS the ‘right’ to monitor ALL our bank accounts without restriction - AND to take money out for the FINE is we don't’ capitulate and get ObummerCare - at 3-4 x’s what we're paying for our insurance now.

Now is the time to make this public - while people are finally paying attention.

This is the perfect time to reveal this - to wake people up to the fact that, when it comes to Socialism/Communism - EVERYONE gets it in the neck, unless you're a high up political mucky muck with connections and protections. (Even the blacks should get this by now)

This information has been out there since 2009!!! No One pays attention - deliberately in the case of the media.

but PEOPLE! it's been available for FOUR YEARS

http://www.infowars.com/obama-health-bill-allows-government-real-time-access-to-bank-accounts/get this out to all the media - while they're on a roll.

23 posted on 06/07/2013 9:34:41 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: pepsionice

The 4th Amendment protects against warrantless search AND seizure.

Forget the pit. If they’re monitoring citizen-to-citizen communications and logging them, that’s unconstitutional.


24 posted on 06/07/2013 3:39:33 PM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.)
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To: nathanbedford

>> When will we finally decide that the war on drugs is...

When it’s legal for the average citizen to execute a drug dealer for hooking minors.


25 posted on 06/08/2013 11:23:57 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gene Eric
Why would he when there is no profit in it and his drugs that he needs to sustain his own habit are readily and cheaply available? No need to build a down leg in a multilevel marketing scheme that begins in Guatemala or Afghanistan and ends up on the streets of America profiting our criminals, corrupting our officials, confounding our foreign policy, funding terrorists, subverting our criminal justice system and causing immense collateral damage to innocent Americans because it is giant Ponzi scheme built on addiction and the need to push to the next victim?


26 posted on 06/08/2013 11:55:42 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: urbanpovertylawcenter

!syeliaB referp I


27 posted on 06/09/2013 2:16:32 AM PDT by MortMan (Disarming the sheep only emboldens the wolves.)
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