August 24, 2013
President Obama sat down with Chris Cuomo of CNN to talk about how the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM program “can only work if the American people trust what’s going on. And what’s been clear since the disclosures that were made by Mr. Snowden is that people don’t have enough information and aren’t confident enough that, between all the safeguards and checks that we put in place within the executive branch, and the federal court oversight that takes place on the program, and congressional oversight, people are still concerned as to whether their e-mails are being read or their phone calls are being listened to.”
Obama said it was only an accident when the NSA “inadvertently, accidentally pulled the e-mails of some Americans in violation of their own rules, because of technical problems.”
New revelations in the saga that is government spying has turned to the lucrative business that is surveillance.
The NSA paid certain corporations “compliance costs” for handing over private customer information to the PRISM program.
This information confirms that there is “a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.”
Participants in the bribe-scheme called special source operations (SSO) are:
Yahoo justified their bribe payment as simply reimbursement “for costs to respond to compulsory legal process.”
Facebook would not acknowledge that they receive money from the NSA in exchange for data on customers and users.
Microsoft stated that the corporation “complies with court orders because it is legally ordered to, not because it is reimbursed for the work. We could have a more informed discussion of these issues if providers could share additional information, including aggregate statistics on the number of any national security orders they may receive.”
However, Microsoft did refer to a FAQ item that explains: “Pursuant to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Microsoft is entitled to seek reimbursement for costs associated with compliance with a valid U.S. law enforcement request. We only charge U.S. law enforcement entities pursuant to industry rates and only in an attempt to recover some costs associated with the need to comply with U.S. legal demands. We do not, however, charge in emergency situations or in known child exploitation investigations.”
Google said that they “await the US government’s response to our petition to publish more national security request data, which will show that our compliance with American national security laws falls far short of the wild claims still being made in the press today.”