Apple reportedly latest company to join US government's PRISM data mining program [ux2]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
As more information regarding a secret Internet data mining initiative comes to light, one report reveals Apple staved off advances from both the NSA and FBI until six months after cofounder Steve Jobs died, though the company claims not to have even heard of the program.

Update: CNBC is now reporting Facebook and Google are also denying involvement.

Update 2: Yahoo has also released a statement denying participation in PRISM.

PRISM
Source: The Washington Post


The Washington Post on Thursday dropped a bombshell when it published a report outlining a formerly secret government project ? codename PRISM ? that monitors the central servers of nine major U.S. Internet companies, the most recent being Apple.

According to the report, which is based on leaked PowerPoint slides, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple are participating in the project that "extract[s] audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person?s movements and contacts over time."

Apple reportedly joined PRISM in 2012, some five years after Microsoft became the first corporate entity to take part in the program. Others followed suit, offering the FBI?s Data Intercept Technology Unit access to their servers. The publication claims the Silicon Valley companies were "obliged" to accept a directive from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence, possibly as part of a secret order handed down by the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court in 2008 to "compel a reluctant company 'to comply.'"

PRISM is reportedly one of the main sources of the President's Daily Brief, being cited in 1,477 articles during 2012. One of the slides notes ?NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM? for data acquisition.

For its part, Apple has denied the claims, saying in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, "We have never heard of PRISM. We do
not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers."

A more extensive and in-depth report on the operation and its long history can be found on The Post's website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member


    Go directly to the Washington Post to get the details, instead of relying on a reinterpretation here. This is too important to the country and what little privacy and diminishing freedoms we have left.


     


    To the endless parade of critics who have been wondering why Americans have been stockpiling weapons, ammo, food, water and fuel for years... this story is a tiny piece of the answer.

  • Reply 2 of 129
    japmjapm Posts: 36member

    Is this info correct?


     


    Apple said to CNBC: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers.."

  • Reply 3 of 129
    PRISM rule #1: You don't talk about PRISM
  • Reply 4 of 129
    rcfarcfa Posts: 946member
    Apple denying means nothing, because so called national security letters make it illegal to even acknowledge the receipts thereof.

    Thus Apple saying they participate would likely be illegal itself, and how would they know about such a program unless they were participating, so again they'd have to deny not to incriminate themselves.

    China, soviet Russia, and the US as well as increasingly so the EU countries use more or less the same Gestapo tactics to "protect" their citizens from being free (which also means being responsible and vulnerable)

    Ever wonder where that huge push for social networks and cloud computing really originates from?
  • Reply 5 of 129
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


     


    To the endless parade of critics who have been wondering why Americans have been stockpiling weapons, ammo, food, water and fuel for years... this story is a tiny piece of the answer.



     


    Because especially these guys read the Post? Good one.


     


    I sincerely doubt the Google and FB and Apple all deny involvement in things they participate in since up to four years... 

  • Reply 6 of 129
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 459member


    So much good news like this in one day (drop in the Verizon phone logs, which are assuredly just the tip of the iceberg there...). As I (and I'm sure plenty of others) have been pointing out for years, Congress doing stuff like pulling in companies to warn them over impinging on the address books / contact lists of their users is such a hypocritical circus. They've authorized total in-depth spying on every one of us already. Maybe they're pissed that they don't have the contacts... Oh wait, if they're stored in 'the cloud', they already do!


     


    Right, people the world over hate us for our 'freedom'. image It makes me want to puke.

  • Reply 7 of 129
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Well lookie there. Microsoft was first. Although I'm not surprised when Microsoft came out with COFFEE that let's the FBI into anyone's computer.

    Benghazi, the IRS, PRISM, wiretapping everyone's phones - when is Obama going to be impeached?
  • Reply 8 of 129
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 459member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by japm View Post




    Is this info correct?


     


    Apple said to CNBC: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers.."



     


    1) They are probably directed to lie about it under penalty of prison.


     


    2) Saying "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers" is easily stated as a misdirection. OK, maybe you have an automated feed of all of your data that goes directly to other government servers, and those are the ones the government agencies have direct access to.  See, they don't have access to "our servers".


     


    It's not very hard to make that statement technically true while being just another government driven lie. So who wants the 'always on' Kinect in their living room now? It's getting really close to the ubiquitous monitoring capability that Orwell had in 1984 - plus some drones, for good measure.


     


    And to be clear, it's not that anyone has to have anything to hide today. At some point, this stuff will be abused - whether it's government agencies doing (even more) illegal stuff with the knowledge, another McCarthy making sure 'those people' get blacklisted because they don't agree with something or other, or agencies leaking privileged information to wealthy campaign donors and corporate interests. The Constitution expressly rejected these types of government actions for a reason, and "our" government has totally sold us out.

  • Reply 9 of 129
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member


    Hm, something is fishy here...


     


    If you look at another slide shown here: http://allthingsd.com/20130606/google-and-apple-outright-deny-theyre-helping-the-nsa-mine-data/ you find a remark at the bottom of the page: "Complete list and details on PRISM web page: GO PRISMFAA".


     


    If you check the faa.gov page, you find the home of prism: http://www.dot.gov/individuals/privacy/pia-prism


     


    Something that has absolutely nothing to do with what is reported by the Post or the Guardian, but still is mentioned on the slides they have published. Sounds like they had some delusional deep throat at work here.


     


    P.S.: The "Program Cost of $20M per year" is another clear indicator that this is likely BS. Mining this amount of data at this cost is pretty much impossible.

  • Reply 10 of 129
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    **** Obama.

    This is what happens when you have a lawyer run your country.

    And I certainly hope Apple's telling the truth.
  • Reply 11 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Latest company, AI, not last.
  • Reply 12 of 129
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    Go directly to the Washington Post to get the details, instead of relying on a reinterpretation here. This is too important to the country and what little privacy and diminishing freedoms we have left.

    To the endless parade of critics who have been wondering why Americans have been stockpiling weapons, ammo, food, water and fuel for years... this story is a tiny piece of the answer.

    Well said.
  • Reply 13 of 129
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    rcfa wrote: »
    Apple denying means nothing, because so called national security letters make it illegal to even acknowledge the receipts thereof.

    Thus Apple saying they participate would likely be illegal itself, and how would they know about such a program unless they were participating, so again they'd have to deny not to incriminate themselves.

    Now that's some real freedom right there, 'Merca!
  • Reply 14 of 129
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    Well lookie there. Microsoft was first.

    First or last, if true this is disgusting. I hope Apple's telling the truth.
  • Reply 15 of 129
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    Go directly to the Washington Post to get the details, instead of relying on a reinterpretation here. This is too important to the country and what little privacy and diminishing freedoms we have left.

    To the endless parade of critics who have been wondering why Americans have been stockpiling weapons, ammo, food, water and fuel for years... this story is a tiny piece of the answer.

    Do the Americans that have been stockpiling weapons, ammo, food, water and fuel for years have a leaving date? I wish them all bon voyage.
  • Reply 16 of 129
    The future of technology means a more empowered and transparent society. Now with the internet and searching and informed citizen can find out if anyone is lying.

    So it isn't Al Qaeda that is the reason for NSA's pervasive spying program -- it's protecting those who have power and benefit from the status quo from those who might climb the latter (us, if you weren't paying attention).

    Of course, it might always have been this way -- it just wasn't so obvious. Pakistan and India fight over Kashmir -- because if there weren't an external threat, that means the people stop worrying about the frenemies. The US and China pretend at cyber games but really, they are both worried about groups like Anonymous more than each other. They agree to fight through proxies and may the best team win -- but likely their government bureaucrats are getting bought up like our leaders. The Dems and Repugs put on their show of fighting over nonsense, but they both quietly hold hands and keep empowering internal spying, drones and Patriot Act gulag policies.

    Enemies are a convenience to real power.
  • Reply 17 of 129
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    **** Obama.



    This is what happens when you have a lawyer run your country.



    And I certainly hope Apple's telling the truth.


     


    All this started under Bush, because... you know... Freedom!

  • Reply 18 of 129
    japmjapm Posts: 36member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    And I certainly hope Apple's telling the truth.


     


    It's official, Apple LIED - they ARE participating  in PRISM.


     


     


     


    Quote:


    PRISM's existence was confirmed to USA TODAY Thursday night by a senior administration official and another official with knowledge of some aspects of the program.


  • Reply 19 of 129
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    japm wrote: »
    [SIZE=14px]It's official, Apple LIED - they ARE participating  in PRISM.[/SIZE]

    So two people who are not named but "with knowledge of some aspects of the program" are proof that Apple is lying? How do you know these two people are telling the truth? Why don't you think it's suspicious that Google, Facebook, and Yahoo are also on the list but deny involvement?
  • Reply 20 of 129
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    So two people who are not named but "with knowledge of some aspects of the program" are proof that Apple is lying? How do you know these two people are telling the truth? Why don't you think it's suspicious that Google, Facebook, and Yahoo are also on the list but deny involvement?


    I think it could be that they ALL are going to deny involvement. No company wants to be associated with secret Internet data mining involving the government.

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