Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some private firms like Microsoft may have a distinct conflict of interest.

Edward Snowden has provided documents to the media that reveal Microsoft and other internet firms that professed dedication to protecting privacy, were among the greatest collaborators with the NSA.

Edward Snowden was first publicized by the Guardian which continues to publish information about the U.S. government mass-surveillance program, PRISM.

Edward Snowden was first publicized by the Guardian which continues to publish information about the U.S. government mass-surveillance program, PRISM.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Snowden, privacy, Guardian, NSA, government, leak, Microsoft, collaboration


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scale of cooperation between Silicon Valley and the NSA is truly stupendous. According to documents released by the Guardian, Microsoft was very keen to cooperate with the NSA.

The Guardian explained that Microsoft went so far as to:

- Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

- The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

- The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

- Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

- In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

- Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Ironically, it's the same private tech firms that are lobbying the Obama administration for permission to disclose more information to the public about their relationship with government surveillance operators. Firms such as Microsoft claim that they only provide information that is specifically mandated by the government.

Those mandates are supposed to take the form of a warrant, and must always do so any time an American citizen is involved.

However, the NSA surveillance program is permitted to harvest domestic intelligence data if an operator believes there is a 51 percent chance or better that one or more of the communicating parties is located outside of the United States.

Documents reveal that operators routinely perform surveillance on Americans, and have the ability to go so far as to wiretap the Oval Office itself.

It has also been noted previously, that a secret court grants these warrants, and that they very rarely reject any request for warrants, even when the warrant is for a person on American soil.

Despite the public's spin by Microsoft and others, Snowden has claimed that the relationship between Silicon Valley and the NSA is "deep and ongoing." In other words, the level of collaboration between tech giants and the NSA is far greater than we would like to imagine.

It's easy to understand why. After all, these tech giants are also the ones who fill contracts to build the systems that the NSA and other government agencies use. There is a distinct conflict of interest for these agencies to cooperate as fully as possible with even the slightest request. Of course, publicly it's bad business to be open with the truth.

Perhaps the greatest problem is that the American people still do not understand what is really happening. Government surveillance programs are being conducted in a manner that remains of obscure, and their effects are open to debate. These programs also have long-term implications and provoke Constitutional questions.

The American people deserve an open and honest discussion on these programs, how they operate, and whether or not we are comfortable sacrificing the measure of privacy they require to work. How much freedom, if any, we are willing to sacrifice in exchange for safety should not be decided merely by the president, or some government agency, or even the legislature. Instead, these questions should only be decided by the American people themselves, and this can only be done following open and honest national dialogue.

One thing is clear, it's highly unlikely that there will ever be any openness or honesty from either our government or the private firms to collaborate with them.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Good Samaritan who fed homeless for 10 years charged with unbelievable $2,000 fine Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Founder of the nonprofit mobile food truck Chow Train, Joan Cheever, was fined by the San Antonio, Texas police for about $2,000 due to the lack of permit for the trucks she is using to transport food. Cheever argues she has the right to do her charitable activity ... continue reading


Tragic final hours of Abraham Lincoln recounted on anniversary of his assassination Watch

Image of Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth's final words were reportedly

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long troubled by depression, 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln awoke on the last day of his life, April 14, 1865 in an uncommonly good mood. Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd decided to attend the hit farce comedy "Our American Cousin," which was playing at ... continue reading


Courage in the Storm: Three Cheers for Wyoming Catholic College! Watch

Image of I do not personally know President Kevin Roberts of Wyoming Catholic. I have never even visited Wyoming Catholic College. However, the action of the President inspires me. The College is now on my radar screen, so to speak. I will be praying for them and paying close attention to their future. I ask my readers to do the same. - Deacon Keith Fournier

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Since the objective of a Catholic University is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic University, as Catholic, must have the following essential ... continue reading


Abercrombie and Fitch employee reveals racial discrimination and sexual harassment at work Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past ten years, Abercrombie and Fitch has received a number of discrimination lawsuits; they even paid $40 million in settlement back in 2006. Just recently, an unnamed employee went out in the open and gave full information about the constant racial ... continue reading


Know someone in the military? They could be in danger from Islamic militants Watch

Image of The Islamic State is threatening U.S. service members and their families, prompting senior military officials to issue guidelines about social media activity, to protect service members.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State's threat of violence towards U.S. service members is being taken very seriously by U.S. military officials, who have issued a warning to troops that instructs them to hide all information about them or their families on public accessible sites, ... continue reading


'One nation under God' defense team claims victory after atheists back down Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marking their fifth victory in a row, the conservative wing in defense of retaining the words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is claiming victory on the newest court trial. This is due to the decision from the ... continue reading


Emotions spike over 'disrespectful' political cartoon depicting 2-year-old murder victim Watch

Image of Kaden Lum was brutally murdered at just 2-years-old.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An editorial cartoon published is viewed as "disrespectful" by the family of 2-year-old Kaden Lum, killed in the still unresolved shooting last March 28. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Kaden's family was left outraged with Kitsap Sun newspaper's political ... continue reading


New Islamic State video vows another 9/11 and to 'burn America' Watch

Image of Entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The evil media machine of Islamic State remains ever ready. The Middle Eastern terror group latest video declares there is "no safety for any American on the globe" and claims that the U.S. will burn in another 9/11-style attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Divine Mercy Sunday, Doubting Thomas and the Jubilee Year of Mercy Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Thank God for 'Doubting Thomas'. His doubts healed the wounds of our own disbelief. They also open up, for all who look with the eyes of faith, a deeper understanding of the redemptive effect of the wounds of Jesus - and the role our own wounds can have in our ... continue reading


Repentance Walks but Mercy Runs: Pope of Mercy Invokes a Year of Mercy Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On Saturday 11 April, on the eve of what is celebrated as Mercy Sunday in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will officially convoke an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. He will release what is called a Bull of Indiction. Such a Papal Bull is a ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
2 Children of men, how long will you be heavy of ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2015 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter