News reports indicate that the NSA has coerced Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype and countless other tech giants into letting them use their servers to spy on us. All of us.
Newly-released classified docs reveal that an intricate program known as PRISM has been used since 2007 to monitor emails, video chats, file transfers and anything else you would probably rather not share with a pair of government eyes.
Rather amazingly, the public has now only heard about PRISM because a government agent with a guilty conscience allegedly leaked the evidence. The 41-page PowerPoint wasn’t supposed to be declassified until 2036, which meant the government and its tech cohorts were going to spy on people without their consent for several decades.
President Obama said that, despite initial skepticism of these spying programs, Congress was in favor of them as long as the programs helped “prevent terrorist attacks.”
The tech giants accused of being involved in this mess have come to their own defense, saying that at no time have they set up backdoors from which the government can have open access. But we all know the government has and will continue to use any methods it can to spy on its own citizens in hopes of thwarting terrorists, whether or not they can thwart them at all.
Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the government has the right to acquire warrants to intercept any foreign communications that might be implicated in terrorist threats, planning, or execution, but the secret court that issues those warrants is nothing but a “yes man” for the government.
As Slate put it, PRISM “makes [the] Verizon surveillance look like kids’ stuff.” And just like kids, we’re powerless to stop it.