In an astounding report, the Washington Post has found evidence of a secret NSA/FBI program that works with nine Internet companies — including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, and more — who hand over private user data to the aforementioned government agencies.
However, most of the private companies listed have denied knowledge or involvement in the program. After speaking with Google, we can determine both Google and its subsidiary, Youtube, weren’t involved in PRISM. Google and Youtube join Facebook and Apple in saying that these tech giants haven’t even heard of PRISM. Similarly, Microsoft has given us a statement saying it doesn’t participate in PRISM either. Here’s Microsoft’s statement:
“We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.” –
A Google spokesperson released a statement to us, which you can read below:
Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. 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.
Apple and Facebook made statements to various websites regarding their involvement in PRISM. Here’s what Facebook said to Engadget:
Joel Sullivan, Chief Security Officer, Facebook:
Protecting the privacy of our users and their data is a top priority for Facebook. We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.
Apple denied involvement as well, to CNBC.
Apple to @cnbc: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers..”
— CNBC (@CNBC) June 6, 2013