Reports: Feds collecting data from major internet companies

By Laurie Bennett

June 7, 2013 at 9:54am

The federal government is mining data not only from Verizon, but from top internet companies, according to coverage in the Guardian and the Washington Post.

PRISM, a secret program of the National Security Agency and the FBI, is reportedly gathering information from Microsoft, Google and other tech companies, as depicted in the Muckety map above.

Both newspapers obtained copies of a PowerPoint presentation outlining PRISM.

Although the presentation suggests that the companies are cooperating with government authorities, executives denied knowledge of PRISM.

One of the slides indicates that the nine companies provide data about email, chat, videos, photos and other forms of online communication.

The Guardian reports that PRISM plans to ad Dropbox as another data provider and wants to “expand collection services from existing providers.”

The Guardian broke a story on Thursday that the NSA was screening phone records of millions of Verizon customers. The revelation spread quickly across the web, with follow-up coverage from the Post and other news outlets.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper issued a statement Thursday saying both newspapers’ accounts contained inaccuracies, but he didn’t specify what they were.

Without mentioning PRISM, the statement pointed out that information gathered under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “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.”

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