NSA intrudes on common US privacy in the name of ‘national security’

NSA's headquarters

NSA's headquarters

It came as a shocker to many US citizens when news bytes surfaced early on the 6th of June that the respected National Security Agency had unbridled powers to access private calls, emails, online chat content, documents and other data.

It is believed that  the National Security Agency has engaged in a broad-spectrum of surveillance programs that allowed the creation a ‘database’ on foreigners’ activities and communications within the country and overseas. Analysts are strongly convinced that the agency had direct access to user- database of leading phone carriers in the country as well as technology giants’ social networking sites.

The involved technology firms , including Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Skype, Google Inc., YouTube or Apple Inc., and the public cellular phone carriers such as Verizon or AT&T have strongly negated information that they provided the premier security agency with ‘direct access’.

Called the PRISM high-security surveillance program, former associates of National Security Agency do concur that the program has been in effect following the warrantless, blanket – surveillance orders issued under President Bush’s, post the terrorist attacks  of September/11.

Though all of the technology companies are in strong denial of the existence of such laws that allowed unsupervised access to individual companies’ user base, those within the organization and its associates are of the strong belief National Security Agency does have access to said records user database. Facebook’s Chief Security Officer underlined: “When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinise any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.” The official spokesman for Google Inc. too offered similar arguments and denied providing the government with a ‘back door’ entry to their systems.

However, Microsoft Corp. stepped out of line, underlining that it was following court orders that the company had to provide customer data.

There was one statement issued by one of the senior most intelligence officials in the US that PRISM did not target US citizens located natively. He clarified that it was a routine process to collate ‘valuable intelligence’ that helped the National Security Agency to protect is the nation from several types of threats.

Fresh protests against privacy intrusion likely

Citizen forums and civil liberty organizations are expected to protest against the increase in citizen surveillance, considering that President Obama in his 2008 campaign strongly opposed it.

Former Vice President Al Gore ridiculed the program as ‘secret blanket surveillance,’ and is the lone politician to protest. Almost every senior politician has stood up for the ‘surveillance’ activities of the premier security agency.

Post the expose, most with the knowledge of the National Security Agencies operational techniques believe that the PRISM program has had a long run of nearly seven years (sic!). What is interesting, but not surprising at all, most analysts within the security–related network believe that the procedure was begun during the President George W Bush’s regime and President Barack Obama continued with the program in due considerations of ‘national security threats’.

Avatar
Jay Raol

Recent Posts

Netflix gets overweight rating from analysts for 4th quarter

Netflix gets overweight rating from analysts for 4th quarter

Netflix will report fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday and its results will be a strong indication for an industry waiting to transition to a p...
8 hours ago
Microsoft partners with Cruise to commercialize self-driving vehicles

Microsoft partners with Cruise to commercialize self-driving vehicles

Microsoft Corp. is joining hands with Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors., to help accelerate the commercialization of dr...
8 hours ago
Apple car may upset auto industry manufacturing model

Apple car may upset auto industry manufacturing model

Since last December, the Apple car project called Titan has been generating much interest with speculations surrounding design manufacturing...
2 days ago
Amazon opens two new logistics centers in Italy

Amazon opens two new logistics centers in Italy

Amazon will open two new logistics centers in Italy this year, investing over $278 million (230 million euros), the world’s largest online...
2 days ago
Fitch Ratings invests in AI startup to improve bank misconduct detection

Fitch Ratings invests in AI startup to improve bank misconduct detection

Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research, has inked a partnership with a French artificial intelligence startup as it e...
2 days ago
New Shepard Rocket launches Successful Test Liftoff

New Shepard Rocket launches Successful Test Liftoff

The New Shepard rocket by Blue Origin successfully conducted the test launch in the Texas testing site, successfully performing take-off and...
3 days ago