Anonymous, the hacker group, has just released some PRISM-related NSA documents, and claims that the NSA is spying on citizens of more than 35 countries. Image Source: RT.
The Internet is swirling with reports that America's National Security Agency has 'wiretapped' the Internet and scrutinized people's private messages, searches, phone calls and personal data in the PRISM program. Rumours suggest that Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Youtube, and Google, among others, are all involved, although these Web giants are sharply denying that.
It started with a leak from the Guardian:
Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald dropped a bombshell on Thursday [6 June 2013], with a story that showed the National Security Agency was collecting data from Verizon thanks to a secret court order. But that was just the beginning: the Washington Post later revealed an even broader program of surveillance code-named PRISM, which involved data collection from the web’s largest players — including Google, Facebook and Apple — and then the Wall Street Journal said data is also being gathered from ISPs [Internet Service Providers] and credit-card companies.
Leaked cover slide of the US Federal Government's data collection program PRISM (April 2013). Image Source: Wiki via Washington Post.
Leaked slides of the US Federal Government's data collection program PRISM (April 2013), including description of how global Internet traffic passes through the USA. Image Source: Washington Post.
In these days of cyberwar and Big Data, I'm not sure why this is a huge surprise to some. It is the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the Web is being and could be mobilized as a tool of social control. And this is why the counter voice of hackers is so interesting in terms of the evolution of Millennial politics. What hackers will do in response to defend online users - the virtual 99 per cent - and whether they can be trusted to shoulder the burden of power and immense wealth associated with Big Data, without also becoming corrupted, is another story. At any rate, here is an initial list of links to articles and Web debate on the subject:
- NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily
- U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data from nine U.S. Internet Companies in Broad Secret Program
- US Collects Vast Data Trove
- Through a PRISM Darkly: Tracking the Ongoing NSA Surveillance Story
- In Response to PRISM, Anonymous Leaks DoD Documents
- NSA Collects Data Directly from Servers of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and More
- 'How Little Rights You Have': Anonymous Leaks More PRISM-related NSA documents
- Obama Says Americans Must "Make Some Choices" in Balancing Privacy and Security
- Is Obama Lying about Big Brother?
- PRISM Biggest Contributor to Obama Intel Briefings
- NSA Dragnet Debacle: What it Means to IT
- PRISM: Here's how the NSA wiretapped the Internet
- Google and Facebook Double Down on PRISM Denials
- To Silicon Valley, PRISM Doesn't Square
- PRISM Scandal: Tech Giants Flatly Deny Allowing NSA Direct Access to Servers
- PRISM Spying Scandal: Tech Giants Share Shocking Amount of User Data with Government
- PRISM by the Numbers: A Guide to the Government's Secret Internet Data-Mining Program
- Uproar over PRISM Government Surveillance
- Obama Administration was Aggressively "Bullying and Threatening" Journalists Who Thought of Exposing PRISM
- Operation PRISM = Another Mass Murder. Coincidence?
- GCHQ PRISM Spying Claims 'Quite a Scandal'
- PRISM's Legal Basis: How We Got Here, and What We Can Do to Get Back
- Doublespeak Denials of PRISM Hid the Truth About Participation
- Not Your Granddaddy's Metadata: Don't Believe the PRISM Anti-Hype
- NSA copyright used as censorship: The NSA Sent a Takedown Notice over My Custom PRISM Logo T-Shirts
- NSA Whistleblower: The Government is Still Telling You an "Outright Lie" About its Spying Programs
- PRISM: Ministers Challenged over GCHQ's Access to Covert US Operation
- No Evidence of NSA's 'Direct Access' to Tech Companies
- US Surveillance Revelations Deepen European Fears
- NSA PRISM: 5 Ways to Stay Anonymous in the Post-Privacy World
- Silicon Valley Responds to PRISM with Coordinated PR Campaign
- Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page Deny Knowledge of PRISM
- Mark Zuckerberg's personal response on Facebook: "I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday.When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term."