British newspaper, the Guardian has come into possession of a secret document revealing that the National Security Agency is prying into the systems of Facebook, Google, Apple and other Internet giants. The publication further revealed that the NSA has received access through an undisclosed program called PRISM which allows officials to collect materials from as many online sources as possible.
Following Thursday’s announcement, according to which Verizon, was ordered in April to provide all phone call conversations to the NSA, the media has made another discovery. The PRISM program, which was adopted by President Bush and renewed by President Barack Obama, gives NSA access to the systems of the biggest Internet companies at present. Google, Facebook and Apple are the most accessed systems according to the secret file that was revealed by reporters.
The document proving that the National Security Agency is prying into Internet users’ accounts was first published by the Guardian. The 41-slide PowerPoint presentation was designed to show intelligence operatives how PRISM works. Based on the information provided by the document, the data is collected directly from the servers of the major U.S. service providers.
Internet giants like Facebook and Google have denied knowledge of the program, even though the document clearly stated that the data was collected with the companies’ assistance. Google wrote a statement on their personal blog to let users know that the company cares deeply about the security of their customers. The software company agreed that they may provide certain pieces of information to the government, within the terms imposed by the law, but they always review the requests. Google further denied the existence of a ‘back door” for the government and reassured users that their accounts are safe.
PRISM gives NSA the possibility to closely monitor live communications and stored information. The law allows the federal agency to supervise not only the American citizens, but also those living outside the United States.