Ever since word broke about NSA’s PRISM program a couple of days ago, there has been much confusion among people about it. The Director of National Intelligence has claimed that companies are intimated about data gathering through a written directive with the approval of a FISA court. On the other hand major U.S. based internet companies claim that they have not even heard of the PRISM program. The Washington Post reports “companies cannot see the queries that are sent from the NSA to the systems installed on their premises,” this according to sources who are apparently familiar with PRISM’s working.
The Post also claims to have heard from executives at internet companies who have anonymously confirmed PRISM’s existence and the fact that it was used to share information with NSA. Some of these companies include Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and more. The implication here is that PRISM is a set of technologies that can be used by authorized government employees for collecting information from these companies without requiring direct interaction with their staff, from anywhere in the world. Apparently the companies have secure portals set up at locations they control, queries are sent to these locations instead of being sent directly to a company’s servers. It has also been reported that UK’s GCHQ has also had access to PRISM since June 2010, allowing it to circumvent the legal process required to obtaining information from non-UK based companies.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this PRISM debacle. The government thinks PRISM is a vital tool for thwarting terror and cyberattacks against the U.S. Do you believe this notion?