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Thursday, June 6, 2013

PRISM Bombshell: A Rainbow of Worries

UPDATE  National Intelligence chief James Clapper hits the leak in strong terms--but, cat out of bag, says he will now release some of details and terms of the NSA phone program, asks public to understand. 

Earlier:  So, how do you top last night's NSA bombshell?   This evening from the estimable Bart Gellman and Laura Poitras at Wash Post, who obtained slides for briefings:
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.
And how's this?
Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.
The Guardian, again partly via Glenn Greenwald, has much the same (even the same slides?) and it's hard to tell who got what first or joint or what.  Glenn, now in the crosshairs for two scoops, just tweeted: :I wish English language were broader so I could express my simultaneous contempt & mockery for the investigation threats emanating from DC."

For what it's worth, Apple spokesman says they've never heard of PRISM.  Twitter notable by its absence in program (refused to cooperate?).

Wall Street Journal adds:  They've got our credit card receipts, too.

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