DON’T LOOK THROUGH THE PRISM

The National Security Agency used a previously undisclosed term called PRISM, during a presentation   and they characterized PRISM as government technology used to aid in previously known information-gathering efforts, rather than a term to describe a new effort to obtain information from companies. The disclosure of efforts to obtain information from U.S. Internet companies was part of foreign-surveillance efforts. PRISM is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program,” the fact sheet states. “It is an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision.

Following the newspaper reports Thursday, the Obama administration publicly Following the newspaper reports Thursday, the Obama administration publicly acknowledged information-gathering efforts that involve the companies, which were identified in the NSA document to include Google Inc., GOOG +1.19% Facebook Inc., FB +4.46% Apple Inc. AAPL -0.66% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.56% The companies immediately denied giving the government direct access to their servers, and said they had never heard of Prism. Acknowledged information-gathering efforts that involve the companies, which were identified in the NSA document to include Google Inc., GOOG +1.19% Facebook Inc., FB +4.46% Apple Inc. AAPL -0.66% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.56% The companies immediately denied giving the government direct access to their servers, and said they had never heard of Prism.

The fact sheet states that the Internet companies provide information “based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence,” in information-gathering efforts targeted at foreigners outside the U.S. “Service providers supply information to the Government when they are lawfully required to do so,” the fact sheet said.

The fact sheet also said data collection from companies is subject to “oversight” from all three branches of federal government.

President Barack Obama on Friday defended efforts by the NSA to siphon logs of telephone calls, and to glean information from major U.S. companies such as email subject lines and photos stored online. Mr. Obama said the efforts described in news accounts in recent days were authorized by Congress, reviewed by U.S. courts and narrowly targeted to sweep information about foreigners under U.S. government surveillance.

The collection of online data, according to Saturday’s disclosure, comes only after approval from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under federal law, and with the knowledge of the Internet companies. “This authority was created by the Congress and has been widely known and publicly discussed since its inception in 2008,” the director of national intelligence document said.

The document also said the digital-data collection has had anti-terrorism successes. The document said the data collection has “significantly contributed to successful operations to impede the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies.” The document also said the communications data has helped the U.S. government mitigate potential attacks on computer networks.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s