"The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post."

That's how the article in the Washington Post begins. The companies allowing direct government access to their servers for warrantless surveillance of their customers and users are Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Dropbox is mentioned as a forthcoming addition.

Those were just the companies listed in the top secret document obtained by the Washington Post. There is no reason to think the NSA and FBI activities are limited to the one program mentioned in the one document, or that the participating companies are necessarily limited to the ones on this list. 

Case in point: all voice and data telecommunications carriers have been required by law to build government-enabled surveillance capabilities into their equipment since 1996.

Until now we only knew for sure the NSA was into the wires: all of them. Now we know they're into damn near everything else too. After reading this report from the post, would you be surprised to find out that Microsoft, Apple, and Google have built back-doors into Windows, Mac OSX, and Droid? If they denied it would you still believe them? Indeed, several companies on the list denied participation in warrantless surveillance even after the Post confronted them.

The article refers to the tracking of foreign targets but don't let that ease your mind one little bit. The Internet is not a circuit-switched network like the old phone networks where you could trace just one call. To monitor a packet-switched network like the Internet, you have to do deep inspection of every packet: all of the traffic, all of the time. 

It's tantamount to FedEx, UPS, DHL, and the USPS opening every letter and package, denying it all the while, and then saying sure we opened everything, but we only actually LOOKED when we found letters and materials of interest to foreigners. 

I was waiting for a story like this to break. There hasn't been enough information available to prove what Uncle Sam was up to until now. Now we'll see what kind of big ACLU lawsuit will come out of it. There is absolutely no way a warrantless, planet-sized dragnet that sweeps everything into it is legal.

Tags: Civil, Domestic, FISA, NSA, Rights, Spying

Views: 384

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Don't be tricked by Google's motto. For a time they cooperated with China's surveillance of its people.

Can anyone honestly say they were surprised by this "scandal?"

Can anyone honestly say they were surprised by this "scandal?"

The only surprising part was that the top secret documents got out and ended up in the Washington Post. I figured a witnesses or two might come forward-- as they do every couple of years-- but I wasn't expecting hard evidence like this to come out.

Beyond that you're right: it's not really a surprise at all.

What we do to others in comparison to what we do to ourselves. Self-righteous outrage feels good.

http://assets.amuniversal.com/9909da90b1c30130dd4e001dd8b71c47

scroll to June 10 2013 http://www.gocomics.com/tedrall

RSS

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service