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Thread: PRISM

  1. #1
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Default PRISM

    No, not the shape that bends light...but I suppose you can consider the program like the aforementioned shape that bends light. What I am talking about is the program.

    With recent revelations from The Guardian about the whole Prism program. It sheds some light on how far we've have come in these 12 years since 9/11.

    The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

    The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

    The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.
    It isn't just conspiracy. We are also talking about phone companies like AT&T and Verizon.

    The Daily Best decides to spin some tails.

    Last night on Twitter, my husband outlined five possibilities:

    1. The companies are lying

    2. Only a few people in the company know about this, and they aren't issuing the statements

    3. The Post and the Guardian are wrong and have been duped

    4. PRISM was operating without the knowledge of the companies

    5. The companies know, and those statements are very carefully worded.
    I am having a field day just reading the news.

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    Honestly, I'm surprised this is news. I thought everyone knew this already. The Patriot Act is still in effect, after all.

    It is interesting, though, that people want the government to do everything in their power to keep them safe, but they also want privacy. Notice what people say every time some shooting or attack happens:

    "Why didn't the goverment stop this?"

    "They should have seen this coming. "

    "How can we not know what is going on American soil?"

    Personally speaking, I prefer privacy to guarantees of safety that are never absolute., but privacy usually goes out the window after a historical tragedy or time of emergency like 9/11. The historical pattern is pretty clear.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  3. #3
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    Facebook and Google released some pretty similar statements.

    Announcement from Zuckerberg on his facebook page:
    I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:

    Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

    When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.

    We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.
    Announcement on Google blog:
    Dear Google users—

    You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.

    First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

    Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

    Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

    Posted by Larry Page, CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer

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  5. #5
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    @msg_v2 I am not one bit surprised. The general populace don't think much about it though. So it could be news to them. I mean, with all the other "news" on T.V.. Or they could be shocked for a while, and they'll just shrug it off because it has become "normal." So, I am mostly interested in what they will do(or not do) or what they are going to do, really.

    I am also interested in some international relations. Some of the wording by these people have caused a stir.

    Other than that, once people give anything, it is hard to take it back. Simple as that.

    @Maddy A lot of the statements from other companies are similar, including the "direct access" and "required by law"... even Britain's own version had a way of saying it that was no different. It is worded in a way to not be held on fire by any side. If we'd learned anything, there are ways to force companies to give information while there are some that are all too willing to hand it over because it is "required by law."

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    http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/08/coo...ts-from-prism/

    The NSA may have wanted full firehoses of data from Google, Facebook and other tech giants, but the companies attempted to protect innocent users from monitoring via compliance systems that created segregated data before securely handing it over as required by law, according to individuals familiar with the systems used by the tech companies targeted by PRISM.

    The widely criticized corroboration with the NSA therefore may have benefited citizens rather than being to their detriment.

    HOW PRISM REQUESTS AND RECEIVES PRIVATE DATA
    My sources confirm that the NSA did not have direct access or any special instant access to data or servers at the PRISM targets, but instead had to send requests to the companies for the data. These requests must be complied with by law, but only if the government narrowly defines what it’s looking for. The government may have initially requested a firehose of data, and was happy to take this full data dump from the tech companies and sort it itself. Had the tech giants simply accepted these requests at the minimum level required by law, many innocent citizens’ data could have been monitored.

    By working to create “a locked mailbox and give the government the key” which the New York Times reported, rather than allowing widespread monitoring, the firehose is restricted to a trickle of specific requests. When the NSA has specific people they want to data about, they make a specific, legal request for that data that the tech companies are required to comply with. Google or Facebook then puts the specific requested data into the locked mailbox where the government can access it. This keeps requested data about suspected terrorists or other people who are threats to national security segregated from that of innocent users.

    By cooperating, companies can better ensure that each request is valid, and narrow enough in its scope. ...
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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    PRISM? What about ECHEOLON (spelling) or the other KGB internet idea?

    The US has been stealing the march on the Russians for some time (for the purposes of this the USSR and post-communist regime is the same beast, so far as I'm concerned it always has been, socialism? bullshit, it never was, west and east would love people to carry on up that blind alley).

    The "war on terror" was just the latest, and gets a shock paddle revival with every new atrocity committed in the US, the Russians wanted to have a new "big idea" (or "big lie" more like) to follow communism and first fomenting and then tackling the threat of terrorism within their borders was a prelude to hoping they could lead the world on that front.

    Before the collapse of the USSR the KGB had optioned the idea of something resembling the internet which citizens would be encouraged to "volunteer" information to in order to solicit some sort of perk or benefit to themselves, although the whole idea is that people will give away spontaneously information no one would provide under investigation or duress when their guard is automatically up. The stories of Dick Turpin or generic highway men eaves dropping on conversations in highway inns ought to be paid greater attention.

    Anyway, soviet union convulsed and collapsed in the mean time and it took a couple of years for things to get back on track in the mean time the west beat them to it, probably had the technological edge even if the thinking was a little behind.

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    Something I would say in relation to all this is that its partly political and partly technology which drives these developments, most of the time you're only going to be at a real lose if you've not been self-aware or wary enough.

    I'm thinking of the gag memes I've seen about how its good to be in your fifties because all your screw ups happened in a time when they wouldnt be preserved forever on the internet or the millions of other forms of recording devices which are ubiquitous now.

    Also there's a lot of questions thrown up about whether or not you can do without being part of all this, I know someone who still hasnt a facebook account and is refusing point blank to get one, he doesnt have a private e-mail, not even a hotmail account and doesnt really use the internet, forums are foreign to him and he's not a reader in any case. Although he can keep abreast of friends and other developments on facebook via his wife's account. There's some compromise, I believe, some place along the lines of necessity.

    The meaning and consequences of all these sorts of developments I dont think are paid much attention, outside of conspiracy nut circles and the like.

  9. #9
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    I operate every facet of the internet under the presumption anything done is recorded as it is, so...


    Probably too many techno-thrillers growing up.


    I wonder how long the public is willing to put up with post-9/11 legislature. Probably not long enough until the next major terror attack.

  10. #10
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    It doesn't make this any thing less interesting, though.

    So CISPA and its Senate cousin were basically trying to make it perfectly legal to force these companies to hand out huge swaths of data (note: Salt Lake City.] On the case of CISPA, lots of data for money and immunity. In the case of the other... everything is required with immunity.

    What they are doing now is only giving "specific" information that is asked for. For each "specific" information, they are forced to comply. However, in some cases, it is possible to ask for one user, and then asked for 10 other (and have them all accepted) users because they are seen to be related to the first. So those who were used to receive information are siphoned in along with the person suspected. But that is the word, suspected. Once the information is receive, they could keep all that information indefinitely. Aside from the Patriot Act and all... it is still data collection, but on a slower scale. Although they say that these information aren't "targeting" Americans, Americans can presumably be taken in along with a huge swath of information of just one person on the premise that all he/she did was posted on a message board.

    If they'd asked for Jennifer, they could presumably ask for Lark, Maddy, Victor, marmie, superunknown, and everyone else on this forum even though there isn't that big of a relationship. But because they have collected that information, they are presumably allowed to keep that information.

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