Edward Snowden, the man who blew the whistle on NSA’s top secret PRISM program, has once again leaked documents to The Guardian. The publication says in a new report that the documents reveal that NSA is able to tap in to audio and video calls made through Skype, it is alleged that Microsoft has closely worked with the agency to provide it this level of access. The company has allegedly been helping NSA to circumvent its encryption which could have posed problems for the agency if it wanted to intercept web chats on Outlook.com. NSA is also said to have “pre-encryption stage” access to email on Hotmail as well as Outlook.com.
The new documents describe PRISM as a “team sport,” revealing that data collected is routinely shared with CIA and the FBI. When the very first PRISM documents were leaked, both Microsoft and Skype were mentioned in them among other major internet companies. The report says that Skype joined PRISM program in February 2011, some eight months prior to being acquired by Microsoft. This data collection is said to be authorized through a secret surveillance court order if an NSA operative has 51 percent belief that the individual being targeted is not a U.S. citizen and not on U.S. soil. To target U.S. citizens, an individual warrant is required. Internet companies that were named have all denied knowledge of the PRISM program, it was reported at one point that these companies have set up secure portals through which NSA is capable of pulling data without even alerting the companies.