The Washington Post has reported that the NSA has created a $20 million spy program called PRISM, that has been allowed to directly access citizens’ private data on Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple servers – the company joined the program in that order as well..
Both Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple have all denied any involvement in the PRISM program, however, the Washington Post’s story alleges that the companies “participate knowingly in PRISM operations.”
PRISM was started in 2007 when Microsoft became the first corporate partner. Apple demonstrated the most resistance to the program and held out for five years before joining in 2012.
Here’s what data PRISM collects, according to the Post:
“The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before.”
NSA slides obtained by the Post claim that PRISM is one of the agency’s leading sources of raw material, and that it contributes to nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.
An Apple spokesman denied having any knowledge or participation in the PRISM program by releasing the following statement:
“We have never heard of PRISM,” an Apple spokesman said. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”
We’ll give you more information on PRISM and Apple’s alleged involvement as the story develops, so check back for updates.