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PRISM. It’s the largest invasion of privacy in American history and it’s the biggest political story of the day.
The Washington Post reported that if you use Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, or Apple, the American government could be monitoring your communications and giving Barack Obama information on your personal life.
In the interest of “national security,” the NSA has been spending twenty million dollars a year monitoring American citizens‘ phone records, photos, and emails since 2007.
“The National Security Agency [NSA] and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.”
The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has defended this sweeping information grab, saying that it does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s restriction on unreasonable searches and seizures, in-effect, calling this data mining reasonable!
“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”
Clapper’s words praise Obama’s effort to collect personal information through the PRISM Data Collection Project, but condemn The Guardian and the The Washington Post for bringing awareness to this federally sanctioned violation of privacy.
The Post also reported that the agency that has had access to your data for six years is so secretive that it is often called “No Such Agency.” In addition, the NSA fails to disclose any details about its agency including the number of employees.
The official number is 35,000. However, some reports say the number is as high as 55,000. The NSA hosts its primary operations out of Ft. Meade, MD. However, despite Sequestration, NSA will soon open a brand new two billion dollar surveillance facility in the middle of the Utah desert.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and the other internet companies listed in the report are denying any knowledge of broad, non-specific government monitoring. They have all stated that they have only participated in specific government requests for specific information on certain persons of interest, though they did not offer any concrete examples.
The whistleblower who leaked the existence of PRISM to the Post also said that PRISM is the leading source of the intelligence that comprises Barack Obama’s daily briefings, accounting for “One in seven intelligence reports.”
This means that despite the sheer volume and scope of all the communication the NSA takes in annually, one in seven Presidential briefing reports come from your personal, private information collected through PRISM!
The most interesting question PRISM brings up is, why does Barack Obama need to know the content of American citizens’ private information in one intelligence report out of every seven that he receives every day?
What does he know about you, why does he need to know it, and what is he going to do with what he knows now?