Recent information reported both by the Washington Post and the Guardian indicate that the United States Government through the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI under a program nicknamed ‘PRISM’ are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs. These US Internet companies include: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.”
Additionally, NSA is collecting the call records of Verizon customers which includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call and other information including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street journal reports that AT&T, Sprint and other major carriers are also subject to similar ‘secret’ orders.
According to the Washington Post:
‘PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.
Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.”
Mozilla, maker of Firefox has launched a petition asking Congress to:
Take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:
- Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
- Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
- Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
This petition has already been signed by a wide variety of organizations and individuals as diverse as the World Wide Web Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Library Association.
Here is the link if you would like to add your name to the request. https://optin.stopwatching.us/
Please post comments and tell me what you think about this program.
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