PRISM Not Used to Target US Citizens: Spy Chief
Companies firmly deny involvement in PRISM
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 7, 2013 3:11 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2013 5:00 AM CDT
In this March 12, 2013, file photo Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, listens to testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – As news of the government's PRISM tech surveillance program makes waves, officials and companies are responding, with the Director of National Intelligence attempting to put the story in perspective. "The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans," James Clapper said in a statement, per USA Today. He said the program has clear "limits": "It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States."

Clapper said he would declassify records regarding the program so that Americans could better understand it. Meanwhile, major tech companies reportedly involved are issuing firm denials they were aware of it; if the government is taking information, it's doing so in secret, they say, per the Guardian. In a statement, Apple said it had "never heard of PRISM"; executives at other top firms made similar comments, both on and off the record, the Guardian reports.

  • From Google: "We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."
  • "We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis," said Microsoft. Facebook echoed the comment.
  • And an unnamed tech executive: "We receive requests for information all the time. Say about a potential terrorist threat or after the Boston bombing. But we have systems in place for that."

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Jun 7, 2013 3:22 PM CDT
Whole bunch of "shit our pants" damage control articles today. this should be seen as evidence that they are up to something.
Jun 7, 2013 1:56 PM CDT
Google says: "Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data." Okay. Have you ever read what you are allowing when you install an app' from Google Play on an android operating system ? Don't install any of them. How about the full Google policy ? Ha ... very revealing, and an admittance to full privacy invasion, EVEN to foriegn data examiners ! So Google can then allow the foriegn privacy invaders to reveal your phone data to governments. "Foriegners did it, but not us", I guess. And how do you explain why every time I clear the ram on my phone there are no less than 5, sometimes even 11 apps running that I had previously shut down ? TRY IT. Seriously. Go to your Task Manager, then RAM, and "Clear Memory" a few times. Wait a few minutes and go back and do it again. And THAT without my browser running, all apps closed, and automatic updates all turned off ! Most of the preloaded apps are IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of, so they are the first culprits by Google and your phone company. Google is full of F___ing LIARS !
Jun 7, 2013 12:53 PM CDT
You know, one thing occurs to me with all this brouhaha about government data mining; even WITH all this going on, NONE of it was able to stop the Boston Marathon bombers before the acted. So if it couldn't even catch THEM before they acted how effective is it really and what do we really need to be concerned with?