June 7, 2013.
The National Security Agency has obtained access to the central servers of nine major internet companies — including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook. The Guardian and the Washington Post revealed the top secret program, code-named PRISM, after they obtained several slides from a 41-page training presentation for senior intelligence analysts. It explains how PRISM allows them to access emails, documents, audio and video chats, photographs, documents and connection logs. "Hundreds of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions – in fact billions of people around the world – essentially rely on the internet exclusively to communicate with one another," Greenwald says. "Very few people use landline phones for much of anything. So when you talk about things like online chat, and social media messages, and emails, what you’re really talking about is the full extent of human communication." This comes after Greenwald revealed Wednesday in another story that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. "They want to make sure that every single time human beings interact with one another … that they can watch it, and they can store it, and they can access it at any time." (© 2013 Democracy Now!)See the video and read a transcript of the Greenwald interview with Amy Goodman here.
*****Comment: This morning I heard Obama talking on CNN in an attempt to explain to the American people that there is nothing extraordinary about peeking into their private emails and listening to their conversations.
He said something like 'there cannot be 100% privacy' in reference to the need for state oversight to protect citizens (meaning they spying on you for your own good).
So I wonder what then is the democratic formula for spying on citizens? If not 100% privacy then what percentage should the average voter expect from the new and improved surveillance state fronted by Obama?
Is 50% a reasonable number? How about 25%?
How will the checks and balances work on protecting civil liberties when the NSA under the direction of Obama decides it wants to look into your business no matter what?
What is the NSA doing with all that data they collecting? Can we expect a time when our credit worthiness will be accompanied by a security worthiness?
Also, since the US can look anywhere does it not compromise international relations and the nation-state system?
Will the South African government protect my right to privacy as stated under the constitution? Or am I just another pawn in the game of empire where the rules are merely fronted for naive consumption?
Of course you know it is all a farce this thing they call democracy. More so now then when the last war criminal sat in the white house blaming Saddam Hussein for storing nuclear weaponry and being behind the 9/11 attacks.
If anyone, anywhere, thinks what they write and say is private and protected under stated civil liberties or constitutional guarantees then they must be sleeping through this age of invasive empire.
There are no guarantees.
Somebody's watching you whether you like it or not. And it ain't your mama or Rockwell-like paranoia.
Read Glenn Greenwald's Guardian article that broke the story: "NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others" (June 7).
Oh, is it about time we starting calling Obama a fascist to go with his earned title of being a war criminal?