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Slide from PRISM presentation showing all the information NSA has access to from nine Internet Services
Immediately following the bombshell scoops from The Washington Post and The Guardian about the participation of nine major tech companies in an NSA program to suck up audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs, those companies began denying their involvement.

There's a consistent trend in those denials, as pointed out by a sharp TPM reader:

Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network…”
The consistent use of the phrase "direct access," and "backdoor access" is, at the very least, intriguing. The TPM reader speculates that direct access is the big loophole that could indicate that the government doesn't get direct access, but could get indirect access through a government contractor, the likeliest being a company called Palantir. And for information on government contractors, and particularly Palantir, Tim Shorrock is the source.
Palantir sells a powerful line of data-mining and analysis software that maps out human social networks for counter-intelligence purposes, and is in huge demand throughout government and in the financial and banking industries. Its customers includes the CIA, the FBI, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the Army, Marines and Air Force, as well as the police departments of New York and Los Angeles.

The NSA, which intercepts and analyzes global communications traffic, is a highly likely client as well. It was “eyeing” Palantir in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. One laudatory media profile called it “the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.”

The TPM reader and Shorrock both note this page from Palantir's website, providing an overview of their software package called Prism, "a software component that lets you quickly integrate external databases into Palantir." Coincidence? Entirely possible, but that's the kind of program that would be most useful for organizing data coming from multiple sources.

Bottom line, there's a hole you could drive a semi through in those tech company denials.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (41+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:25:00 AM PDT

  •  Like the Apple tax evasion scheme, (7+ / 0-)

    their lawyers are keeping it legal.

  •  Refresher (19+ / 0-)
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

  •  Translated (9+ / 0-)
    The consistent use of the phrase "direct access," and "backdoor access" is, at the very least, intriguing.
    Holy Mother Mary, we got caught.  
    •  Of course (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, BroadwayBaby1, nchristine

      If these companies simply give the data to a government agency, then their statements of denial are true. They aren't giving access to their servers, they're giving them the data. And recall the monitoring system exposed in San Francisco (IIRC) several years ago. If a government agency has their own hardware installed at telecom facilities, the telecom companies can still claim -- without lying -- that they aren't giving the government access to their systems.  They wouldn't need to; the government has their own that are patched directly into the network.

    •  It's not a backdoor (5+ / 0-)

      The way I remember it being explained to me, a dozen years ago, by an NSA cryptologist, was that the "black box room" that no one had a key to, was in FRONT of the AT&T NOC (network operations center) data stream, not in the back.

      Just sayin'.

      -5.25, -2.26 "Free your mind, and the rest will follow..."

      by KilljoyTXinMI on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see (6+ / 0-)

    I don't see why we should assume that direct access is some form of legalese.  I think it is just in contrast to the normal access of the government accessing the data by asking for it and the companies giving it to them.

    •  that's my reading (5+ / 0-)

      They could be sending the servers access logs to the NSA. That wouldn't be giving any backdoor to the NSA; it would be giving the data directly.

      (Although, that sounds like legalese to me. I'm not sure if I'm agreeing or disagreeing with you.)

    •  That's certainly how they want us to read it. (0+ / 0-)

      The simple solution is to get them to issue similar denials with respect to giving bulk data access to any third party - not just the government.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:06:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you on that. (0+ / 0-)

      Go read Google's Privacy Policy as an example. Buried near the end is this:

      For legal reasons

      We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

      - meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
      - enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
      - detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
      - protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.

      My emphasis added. LOTS of vague there.

      A few other random comments. As I understand it, many of these "data mining" tools used by the intelligence community don't require access to anything other than publicly available information sources to essentially pull back a scary profile of a person and their "known associates".  I find the mention of Palatir interesting given that one of the most serious data mining tools I was ever aware of was acquired by LexisNexis almost a decade ago.  Their "Accurint" product accesses public information sources to get the job done.  Just FYI.

      And if you're curious, check out In-Q-Tel, an intelligence community incubator company.  There were actually started by the CIA as an independent nonprofit entity.  Perusing their list of portfolio companies as well as background on their formation should bring great insight into the directions the IC is taking from a technology perspective.

  •  The new propaganda is liberal. The new slavery is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, johanus, rdl, NonnyO

    digital.

    What is modern propaganda? For many, it is the lies of a totalitarian state. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl and asked her about her epic films that glorified the Nazis. Using revolutionary camera and lighting techniques, she produced a documentary form that mesmerized Germans; her 'Triumph of the Will' cast Hitler's spell.

    She told me that the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above," but on the "submissive void" of the German public. Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? "Everyone," she said.

    Today, we prefer to believe that there is no submissive void. "Choice" is ubiquitous. Phones are "platforms" that launch every half-thought. There is Google from outer space if you need it. Caressed like rosary beads, the precious devices are borne heads-down, relentlessly monitored and prioritised. Their dominant theme is the self. Me. My needs. Riefenstahl's submissive void is today's digital slavery.

    Edward Said described this wired state in 'Culture and Imperialism' as taking imperialism where navies could never reach. It is the ultimate means of social control because it is voluntary, addictive and shrouded in illusions of personal freedom.

    Are you willing to cut the cord?

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:31:46 AM PDT

  •  Remember when Aragorn looks into the palantir (7+ / 0-)

    and finds Sauron at the other end? Maybe Palantir can use the Eye as their logo.

    •  Maybe our best hope is that the Tolkien (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, radical simplicity, crose

      estate can sue Palantir into oblivion for infringement of trademark.

      Let's see which wins: our over-reaching security state laws, or our over-reaching IP monopoly laws.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:42:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you have to lie and deceive & hide your agenda (15+ / 0-)

    Then you know what you are doing is wrong.

    Spare me the one-size-fits-all  "National Security" bullshit.

    The rich want to make sure they are safe from the 99% in case the 99% ever connect the dots and realize they have been powerfucked for generations.

    The last thing the 1% want is for Americans to discover their voice, or at least discover what the Turkish people discovered.

    This system needs torn down.

    •  meh, that's assuming the 'people' are good (0+ / 0-)

      news flash, the 99% suck.  

      the 'people' suck.

      you keep talking like your a christian and you need to open the eyes of the lost masses to see the saving truth

      no

      they have their eyes wide open right now

      they just suck

      people suck

      open YOUR eyes and look around if you don't believe that

      you are trying to save fuckers from being who they want to be

      the 99% are just as bad as the 1%

    •  Shit, they're meeting right now. And look who's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, akmk, NonnyO

      on the guestlist.

      The Bilderberg Group, which fancies itself as the power house that runs the world – it’s economies, the geo-political strategies, it’s intelligence – and all in the name of capitalism – is meeting today and over the next three days at a secure location in Britain to decide on the world’s future for the next 12 months. This year they will also be discussing how to best move forward on improving cyber security. And who will be examining this and other issues? How about Robert Kaplan of Stratfor? Or Henry Kissinger? And General David Petraeus? All three will be there and it would be inconceivable if they did not talk about the one thing that links all three – Wikileaks.

      For it was Wikileaks, of course, that published the Global Intelligence Files, based on the hack of Stratfor (click here to see what the GIF files have on Kaplan – you may be asked to complete a Captcha to gain access). And it was Wikileaks which recently published its Kissinger files . And it was Wikileaks that published the Afghan War Diaries and the Iraq War Logs , both conflicts managed at various points by Petraeus. And to add a bit of spice, joining them will be Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, who has over the last two years or more shown a keen interest in the fate of Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks.

      The Bilderberg Group is an exclusive politico/finance club (with members primarily from NATO countries and including bankers, heads of state, media moguls, prime ministers, Intelligence chiefs, etc). It will be holding its secret annual meeting today at the Grove Hotel , near Watford. The conference runs for a total of four days.

      One major topic at the meeting is entitled ‘Cyber warfare and the proliferation of asymmetric threats’ (the one that may include discussion of Wikileaks, if only ‘asymmetrically’). Here is a complete list of topics:

      • Can the US and Europe grow faster and create jobs?
      • Jobs, entitlement and debt
      • How big data is changing almost everything
      • Nationalism and populism
      • US foreign policy
      • Africa’s challenges
      • Cyber warfare and the proliferation of asymmetric threats
      • Major trends in medical research
      • Online education: promise and impacts
      • Politics of the European Union
      • Developments in the Middle East
      • Current affairs

      A full list of the approx 150 members attending this year’s gathering is given below by name, title and count.

      Amongst them are:
      David Petraeus (US General, who led the Iraq and Afghanistan wars)
      Jose Barroso (President of the European Commission, responsible for overseeing the political turmoil across Europe)
      Carl Bildt (Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden and responsible for the Swedish/US agreement to ensure Julian Assange is eventually committed to trial in America)
      Robert Kaplan (Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor – the private espionage organisation responsible for the imprisonment of investigative researcher,Jeremy Hammond)
      Christine Lagarde (Managing Director, International Monetary Fund – responsible for imposing austerity upon half of Europe)
      Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State and responsible for crimes against humanity)
      George Osborne (British Chancellor of the Exchequer and responsible for much of the poverty now widespread across Britain)

      List of this year’s participants (as known)

      Chairman: FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
      DEU Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
      DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
      GBR Agius, Marcus Former Chairman, Barclays plc
      GBR Alexander, Helen Chairman, UBM plc
      USA Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
      FIN Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
      USA Athey, Susan Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
      TUR Aydıntaşbaş, Aslı Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper
      TUR Babacan, Ali Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs
      GBR Balls, Edward M. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
      PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA
      FRA Barré, Nicolas Managing Editor, Les Echos
      INT Barroso, José M. Durão President, European Commission
      FRA Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
      FRA Bavinchove, Olivier de Commander, Eurocorps
      GBR Bell, John Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
      ITA Bernabè, Franco Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
      USA Bezos, Jeff Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
      SWE Bildt, Carl Minister for Foreign Affairs
      SWE Borg, Anders Minister for Finance
      NLD Boxmeer, Jean François van Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Heineken N.V.
      NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
      AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt
      GBR Carrington, Peter Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
      ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
      CAN Clark, W. Edmund President and CEO, TD Bank Group
      GBR Clarke, Kenneth Member of Parliament
      DNK Corydon, Bjarne Minister of Finance
      GBR Cowper-Coles, Sherard Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
      ITA Cucchiani, Enrico Tommaso CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
      BEL Davignon, Etienne Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
      GBR Davis, Ian Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
      NLD Dijkgraaf, Robbert H. Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
      TUR Dinçer, Haluk President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabancı Holding A.S.
      GBR Dudley, Robert Group Chief Executive, BP plc
      USA Eberstadt, Nicholas N. Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
      NOR Eide, Espen Barth Minister of Foreign Affairs
      SWE Ekholm, Börje President and CEO, Investor AB
      DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, EADS
      USA Evans, J. Michael Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
      DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
      USA Feldstein, Martin S. Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
      FRA Fillon, François Former Prime Minister
      USA Fishman, Mark C. President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
      GBR Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
      IRL Gallagher, Paul Senior Counsel
      USA Geithner, Timothy F. Former Secretary of the Treasury
      USA Gfoeller, Michael Political Consultant
      USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
      DEU Grillo, Ulrich CEO, Grillo-Werke AG
      ITA Gruber, Lilli Journalist – Anchorwoman, La 7 TV
      ESP Guindos, Luis de Minister of Economy and Competitiveness
      GBR Gulliver, Stuart Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc
      CHE Gutzwiller, Felix Member of the Swiss Council of States
      NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
      FIN Heinonen, Olli Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
      GBR Henry, Simon CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
      FRA Hermelin, Paul Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group
      ESP Isla, Pablo Chairman and CEO, Inditex Group
      USA Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard
      USA Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
      CHE Jordan, Thomas J. Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
      USA Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
      USA Kaplan, Robert D. Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor
      USA Karp, Alex Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies
      GBR Kerr, John Independent Member, House of Lords
      USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
      USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
      NLD Knot, Klaas H.W. President, De Nederlandsche Bank
      TUR Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
      DEU Koch, Roland CEO, Bilfinger SE
      USA Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
      USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
      CHE Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
      GRC Kyriacopoulos, Ulysses Chairman, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.
      INT Lagarde, Christine Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
      DEU Lauk, Kurt J. Chairman of the Economic Council to the CDU, Berlin
      USA Lessig, Lawrence Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School; Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
      BEL Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
      DEU Lindner, Christian Party Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP NRW)
      SWE Löfven, Stefan Party Leader, Social Democratic Party (SAP)
      DEU Löscher, Peter President and CEO, Siemens AG
      GBR Mandelson, Peter Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International
      USA Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
      CAN McKenna, Frank Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
      GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
      FRA Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
      ITA Monti, Mario Former Prime Minister
      USA Mundie, Craig J. Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
      ITA Nagel, Alberto CEO, Mediobanca
      NLD Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The
      USA Ng, Andrew Y. Co-Founder, Coursera
      FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc
      GBR Omand, David Visiting Professor, King’s College London
      GBR Osborne, George Chancellor of the Exchequer
      USA Ottolenghi, Emanuele Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
      TUR Özel, Soli Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University; Columnist, Habertürk Newspaper
      GRC Papahelas, Alexis Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper
      TUR Pavey, Şafak Member of Parliament (CHP)
      FRA Pécresse, Valérie Member of Parliament (UMP)
      USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
      USA Petraeus, David H. General, U.S. Army (Retired)
      PRT Portas, Paulo Minister of State and Foreign Affairs
      CAN Prichard, J. Robert S. Chair, Torys LLP
      INT Reding, Viviane Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission
      CAN Reisman, Heather M. CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
      FRA Rey, Hélène Professor of Economics, London Business School
      GBR Robertson, Simon Partner, Robertson Robey Associates LLP; Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings
      ITA Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman,Techint Group
      POL Rostowski, Jacek Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister
      USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
      NLD Rutte, Mark Prime Minister
      AUT Schieder, Andreas State Secretary of Finance
      USA Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
      AUT Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
      PRT Seguro, António José Secretary General, Socialist Party
      FRA Senard, Jean-Dominique CEO, Michelin Group
      NOR Skogen Lund, Kristin Director General, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
      USA Slaughter, Anne-Marie Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
      IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
      GBR Taylor, Martin Former Chairman, Syngenta AG
      INT Thiam, Tidjane Group CEO, Prudential plc
      USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital
      USA Thompson, Craig B. President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      DNK Topsøe, Jakob Haldor Partner, AMBROX Capital A/S
      FIN Urpilainen, Jutta Minister of Finance
      CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Honorary Chairman, Novartis AG
      GBR Voser, Peter R. CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
      CAN Wall, Brad Premier of Saskatchewan
      SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
      USA Warsh, Kevin Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
      CAN Weston, Galen G. Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited
      GBR Williams of Crosby, Shirley Member, House of Lords
      GBR Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
      USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
      GBR Wright, David Vice Chairman, Barclays plc
      INT Zoellick, Robert B. Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

      "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

      by jazzence on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:59:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm confused. f it was indirect/3rd party, (3+ / 0-)

    wouldn't it only be able to collect data that was "out there" publicly?  (Which is also disturbing, but not illegal...)

    Or is this 3rd party somehow hacking into databases?

    Or are you saying that perhaps the 3rd party has paid for / been given access?

    •  They can do WHATEVER THEY WANT (6+ / 0-)

      and they have been.

      Worse comes to worse, it's made legal retroactively.
       

    •  You are assuming they'd make a distinction (0+ / 0-)

      between what you've marked in your Facebook settings as "private" and what you've marked as "Public".

      Last time I checked, the list of phone numbers that I've connected to on my phone are in no way public, yet the NSA probably has them all in a database.

      Oddly, the thing I find most disturbing about that is the huge waste of time and resources such a thing is.  If they really want to know that I called a pest control guy last week, and sent text messages to my wife every day for the last 8 years, then fine.. but why are they wasting their time with it?  It serves literally no purpose what-so-ever.  There is nothing they could ever do with that data that would have any sort of impact on my life.

  •  By intriguing (3+ / 0-)

    do you mean talking points?

  •  In Obama's press conference he certainly (16+ / 0-)

    didn't deny the existence of these programs.

    He did try to justify them.

    Whether or not these programs are constitutional are not the point of this comment. My point is that Obama sure as hell seemed to confirm the accuracy of Greenwald's reporting.

  •  Just add fun phrases (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, bigtimecynic, crose

    Ultrastructure of rat lung following inhalation of ricin aerosol.

  •  Corporations LIE. (8+ / 0-)

    Governments LIE.

    Lying is protected free speech.

    The Truth is gagged and protected by genuflections to "National Security".

    Tolerating this with a big smile like a good American!

  •  Plausible Deniability FAIL (8+ / 0-)
    Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
    Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
    Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
    Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network
    Nice try, Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, but your plausible deniability attempt has FAILED.
    •  the problem here (7+ / 0-)

      blaming these tech companies for being complicit to what is certainly government direct action is kind of the wrong target for Your outrage

      Unless You can uncover some evidence that these companies were actively inviting the NSA to come in and spy on their customers - the ownership of this still lays at the feet of the Obama administration - hopefully the outrage will be targeted properly

      "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

      by josephk on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:42:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to agree (4+ / 0-)

        The government, first and foremost, is responsible for this. And I believe that's where the bulk of the anger should be aimed.

        Having said that, I'm not willing to let these companies off the hook that easily. I wish they were a bit more zealous in protecting their customer's private information, and more open when asked about it.  I understand they have their hand's tied to a certain extent, but I'm not certain they are doing all they can to push back on this.

        Part of the problem is, the same government that regulates these companies is the one "asking" them for information.  The pressure on them must be enormous, and I'm not surprised that the customers are the ones left out in the cold.

        Black Holes Suck.

        by Pi Li on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't let Congress off the hook here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        josephk, Pi Li, emal

        They authorize this stuff.

  •  Getting a big old file isn't direct access to a (5+ / 0-)

    server, but its just as bad.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:38:44 AM PDT

  •  I suggest that from now on, everyone should only (7+ / 0-)

    communicate online by using LOLcats.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:39:49 AM PDT

  •  I hear Obama thinks it's OK since we voted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Not A Bot, crose

    for the clowns who provide "oversight" to the obliteration of our civil liberties.  Note to self: don't make that same vote next time.

  •  Isn't it built into the law? (5+ / 0-)

    IIRC, the laws supposedly governing this type of government action specifically prohibit the telecommunications organization being asked to provide the data from saying that they have indeed been asked to provide the data.

    That part of the law (FISA? some Telecommunications Act?) was debated at the time as being profoundly odd.

    If they were approached under this law, then the companies have no choice but to vehemently deny that the US government has legally demanded that they turn over that information.

    I know.  Very through the looking glass.  But maybe someone can check my recollection more thoroughly than I can at the moment and summarize the regs.

  •  "Prism" a coincidence? (0+ / 0-)

    Here's Palantir's description of their "Prism":
    https://docs.palantir.com/....

    Seems that it allows integration of many databases but I doubt that the use of the name "Prism" is much more than a coincidence. I.e.: Why would NSA use Palantir's name for a DB integrator that is available commercially (i assume here) to name a top-secret program? They wouldn't. Look at the .ppt and you will see that the description of what they are supposedly doing doesn't really fit Palantir's Prism, though I can see how people could be confused.

    From the .ppt:
    'PRISM enabled "direct access from the servers of these US service providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple".'

    Palantir's sw enable's integration of data from many databases.

    I'm inclined to think that (Greenwald's) story is fishy.

  •  Really Palantir? The rootkit, Anonymous hunters (3+ / 0-)

    contracted by the law firm of the COC?

    Funny... and very sad.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:46:15 AM PDT

  •  They lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity, shaharazade

    The tech companies are proven liars.  They've been outted by the Director of National Intelligence who has already confirmed the existence of the PRISM program.

    They've got a lot of explaining to do.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:50:17 AM PDT

  •  I make my living from technology, (7+ / 0-)

    thinking and strategizing (whatever the hell that is) and can guarantee that the tech organizations are in bed with the government at every available opportunity. If not Google directly then a wholly owned 3rd party is. To say nothing of the current round of Security Industrial Complex contractors and consultants who use the big tech companies resources.

    So yeah while it may be technically true that the tech companies don't meet the precise weasel worded denials, one can guarantee that the through contracts, consultants, subsidiaries and other 3rd parties they do. And guess what? THEY ALWAYS HAVE!

    Anyone with any expectation of privacy on the internet or via any other corporate provided service, even the newer short-lived media is foolish at best.

    "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do..... Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." Grant

    by shigeru on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:55:47 AM PDT

    •  True, I have no expectation of privacy here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, shigeru

      I refuse to post under my real name, because I don't want to be 100% politically correct, I'd rather be real and honest.

      But I know that if the FBI wanted my name for some reason, they could force Kos to give it up in an instant.  We know they were combing through here during Occupy protests, and probably used this site to infiltrate moles.

      When anyone who disagrees with the State can be declared a terrorist, then trust ceases to exist.

  •  BOMBSHELL! Darrell Issa just said the following; (0+ / 0-)

    ......crickets......

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:59:17 AM PDT

    •  Just got this from Tester (7+ / 0-)
      I vote against reauthorizing the Patriot Act every time it comes up in the U.S. Senate.  I also fight to prevent the U.S. Government from eavesdropping on phone conversations between law-abiding American citizens and foreign citizens without a warrant.

      That's because - like most Montanans - I firmly believe in the fundamental importance of our Constitutional rights, our civil liberties and our right to privacy.

      Folks sometimes ask me why I continue to fight so hard against the Patriot Act.  Well, the news about the National Security Agency collecting phone records of law-abiding Americans is ‘Example A' for what happens when the government ignores the very Constitutional rights that make our nation great and respected around the world.

      America is respected because other countries admire our rule of law.  So while we must keep our families safe, we must do it in a way that preserves the principles that set our nation apart and lives up to the ideals set forth by our Founding Fathers.

      The recent news shows us once again that we must remain vigilant in the fight for our civil liberties as we work to return our country to a course that properly balances our Constitutional rights with our national security.

      As your Senator, I will keep fighting for our right to privacy and against the kind of government overreach that we've seen this week.

      It's an honor to serve you in the U.S. Senate.

      Be well, and keep in touch.

      Small varmints, if you will.

      by aztecraingod on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:13:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On top of that (0+ / 0-)

    aren't these companies REQUIRED BY LAW to deny participation?

    This is so f'ed up, and we were dirty hippies even to be suggesting that back when W was president.  Maybe people will start listening to us now that the Kenyan Usurper is in the office.

  •  So Fox News has totally ruined conspiracies for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norm in Chicago

    I can't help but read stories like this with statements where words are parsed to suggest a hidden meaning. Also, the stories have questions with no answer which, somehow, suggest a nefarious answer.

    I welcome deep investigation of evidence, but I worry about suppositions based on the evidence that is assumed to exist somewhere. I just don't want liberals to fall into the hole that has engulfed so many on the right.

  •  All data passes through 3rd parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KilljoyTXinMI

    I can't imagine the NSA running map reduce jobs inside corporate data centers. If they did they would be charged $$$ for the service. But the NSA doesn't need to get inside data centers, they only need access to the copying of data between them.

    Several years ago it was revealed that the fiber optic cables  across the Pacific are tapped when they reach California, an AT&T technician stumbled on an NSA wiretap processing center in San Francisco.

    I also doubt the NSA analyzes a companies data anywhere near as much as the company it's tapping does, it's just too expensive even for the NSA.

  •  Risen and Lichtblau (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, emal

    State of War and with Eric Lichtblau  articles in the Times.

    What if PRISM and the equipment in the Telecom rooms of the major internet carriers like AT&T Risen and Lichtblau wrote about are two ends of the same story.

     That though the Powerpoint slides imply and one is to infer that NSA has equipment in the Datacenters of these folks like Facebook and Google perhaps by the nature that the NSA is essentially a component of the internet they can see and capture the data without actually being there.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:05:06 AM PDT

  •  Neophytes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal

    Don't they know that the way to make this go away is for them to call their bought-and-paid-for Senator and push through an immunity law?

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:06:48 AM PDT

    •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, crose

      One order of retroactive immunity coming right up. They have done it before so there is a precedent.

      As Moyers coined the phrase in response to the banking fiasco ..the System isn't broken, it's Fixed.

      Rigged system.

      Government of, for, and by the corporate political ruling class elites.

      Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

      by emal on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:32:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Palantir... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, shaharazade, minorityusa, crose

    From the Lord of the Rings, a magical communications sphere that was originally used by the kings of men to communicate, but later captured and abused by Sauron the lord of evil.

    Seems entirely appropriate.

  •  well they have to deny (0+ / 0-)

    it's not like they can talk about it.

    these are leaks.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:12:11 AM PDT

  •  Just because you absolve yourself of violating the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, greenbell, nchristine

    Fourth Amendment does not mean you haven't violated the Fourth Amendment.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

  •  Oh, shit, "Palantir" -- how Sauron nearly won (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, joanneleon, NonnyO

    the war of the Ring?  Not good.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:15:06 AM PDT

  •  Well now it's perfectly clear. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    The secret program isn't accessing the top nine. Because they said so.
    Damn! Clears it all up for me.
    Question for the NSA: Can you quantify the less than zero numerical value of your credibility?

  •  I think I'm done with new technology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    I don't use Facebook or Twitter, I don't Skype. I hardly ever use my cell phone, and text messages are limited to asking my wife if we need a gallon of milk from the store.  I flat out refuse to use cloud computing of any type.

    New internet and communications technology didn't interest me in the slightest to begin with, I'd rather talk to people in person.  So my lesson to the tech companies is this:  If they're going to violate my privacy and hand over my data to the government, then I'm not going to give them any data.  I won't use their services, I won't pay for anything and I won't give them any activity that leads to ad revenue.  They've lost me as a customer forever.

    If companies want customers they have to provide something of value, and I just don't see it.  I'm not going to use communication paths that are unconstitutionally bugged and monitored by unaccountable paranoid fascists.

    •  I just figure it's a tradeoff and my choice. I use (0+ / 0-)

      the free tools. I lose privacy. My choice.

      •  Yeah, but it's not just about free tools (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine, mahakali overdrive

        Between my wife and myself, I pay $150 a month for cell phone service.  And everything I do with those phones is routed into an NSA database.

        For $150, shouldn't I get to choose to keep my privacy?  I am paying for the whole damn system after all.  Looks like a huge rip-off now.

      •  Same here.. (0+ / 0-)

        Looking at my latest tweet I'm seeing the following:

        "All this crap is making me resent all laughter that flowed forth when I heard about Valve doing a "Steambox". That shits sounds awesome now."

        So apparently the NSA has a glimpse into the real name of the person that made that tweet (me) and I'm wondering how this is ever going to be used against me in any way.

        Not that I agree with them scooping up data willy-nilly, it really does suck and I wish they weren't, but ultimately... I'm fine with my stupid utterances being public.

  •  There's the Bush-era (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    minorityusa, jethrock, MKinTN, NonnyO, emal

    NSA-can-tell-companies-to-lie move, too.

    It was a 2006 presidential memorandum. The language was bland and obscure, so it was easy to miss the significance of it.

    But Business Week and TPM caught the significance.

    Negroponte spokesman Carl Kropf said: "The ability to protect the confidentiality of some of these relationships with companies is important," declining further comment.

    The Spy Chief's New Financial Power, Business Week, 2006

  •  Conventional Wisdom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, nchristine

    is that this has only been going on for about 7 years. I beg to differ. All public records going back to the mid 1980s are being digitized and corporations are in the process of digitizing anything in the public realm going back to antiquity.

    Data mining by the government only became fashionable in the last 10 years or so when it became clear that global terrorists and jihadists were using available digital communications links to plan attacks. So with all the wiretapping and listening in how come the NSA couldn't detect the Tzarnaev brothers and their plans to bomb NYC and the Boston Marathon? Just because the government can eavesdrop means nothing, the NSA has to sift through millions of terrabytes of data to come up with something.

    So here's the rub. Bletchley Park http://en.wikipedia.org/... had between 9 and 12 thousand people working during World War 2 to interecept and decipher stuff from the Germans. How many people does the NSA have? The NSA is using software to capture keywords. What terrorist is stupid enough to send messages about attacks in the clear?

    This is nothing but spying on law abiding US citizens for absolutely no purpose at all other than to enable some clowns in upper echelons of government feel important.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering.

    by harris stein on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:24:55 AM PDT

  •  Very interesting!! Thanks you. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Wonder how extended that client list is??? (0+ / 0-)

    Separate from this larger issue, pretty sure that local telecoms can spy on their clients any time they want and much to the political advantage of their own industry.

  •  so the data is on google and facebook servers (0+ / 0-)

    already, and they have the geeks to mine, crawl, and spider around for whatever info they need, which is why my phone rings 3 seconds after i do a mortgage calculator check, &  i don't mind that type of advertising,

    but why do we have to pay frckn palantir or some other crappy outfit gazillions to do the same thing through cia channels so e.g. eliot spitzer can get railroaded.  

    i think open and transparent is way better, cheaper, safer, and gosh darnit people like it

    what lincoln said http://cleantechnica.com/2012/10/10/abraham-lincoln-was-on-to-wind-power-long-before-the-rest/

    by rasfrome on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:40:25 AM PDT

  •  Whoa! (0+ / 0-)

    See jazzence's comment from yesterday of the loooong list of people attending the Bilderberg Group conference.  Just look at the names of some of these "groups" and individuals that purport to have the interests of America and Americans at heart (oh, and I notice David Betrayus-Petraeus hasn't lost any social standing among the smarmiest of the smarmy).  Tech company denials don't hold water.  The list includes the corporate owners of the most famous names on the web.  Just from the USA - but go to the link for jazzence's post for the international list:

    USA Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
    USA Athey, Susan Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
    USA Bezos, Jeff Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
    USA Eberstadt, Nicholas N. Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
    USA Evans, J. Michael Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
    USA Feldstein, Martin S. Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
    USA Fishman, Mark C. President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
    USA Geithner, Timothy F. Former Secretary of the Treasury
    USA Gfoeller, Michael Political Consultant
    USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company [Wiki info on Graham indicates he's also on the board of directors for Facebook]
    USA Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard
    USA Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
    USA Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
    USA Kaplan, Robert D. Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor
    USA Karp, Alex Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies
    USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
    USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
    USA Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
    USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
    USA Lessig, Lawrence Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School; Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
    USA Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    USA Mundie, Craig J. Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
    USA Ng, Andrew Y. Co-Founder, Coursera
    USA Ottolenghi, Emanuele Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
    USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
    USA Petraeus, David H. General, U.S. Army (Retired)
    USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
    USA Slaughter, Anne-Marie Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
    USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital
    USA Thompson, Craig B. President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    USA Warsh, Kevin Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
    USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:59:28 AM PDT

    •  This always makes me laugh (0+ / 0-)

      There is no reason to believe that a room full of those particular people would ever amount to any kind of universal agreement on how to TOTAL FUCK the public.

      For such a thing to succeed, would require a precise level of coordination that can't exist in a world where human error also exists.

  •  Forbes (0+ / 0-)

    did an interesting piece on how the data-mining works (supposedly):

    Link is here.

  •  Microsoft - potentially interesting background (0+ / 0-)

    Remember the Total Information Awareness Program?  It could have been the father of PRISM and/or BLARNEY.

    The TIA Program hooked up with Ray Ozzie, the developer of Lotus Notes who had gone on to develop a peer-to-peer collaboration product called Groove Networks.  Apparently, the TIA Program wanted to use Groove in some way.  Ray sold Groove to Microsoft and then went to work for Microsoft as Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect from 2005-2010.  Microsoft joined the PRISM program in 2007. It well could have been Ray Ozzie who tied the knot.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:28:15 AM PDT

  •  Agree about the weasel words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine

    And important qualifiers throughout those denials.

    But I read today that President Obama has assured us  it's only a "modest encroachment" on our privacy. phew, I was worried. Also said (paraphrasing) in order to have protection from scary bad guy terrarist will need things like this. But wasn't it just the other day he also said, like all Wars, the War on Terror must come to an end? To which the republicans went all ripshit over him saying...

    The doublespeak from our political and corporate ruling class elites is just surreal...just when I think I can't get any more cynical...they surpass themselves. Oh also Orange Man has come out and said Obama has some explaining to do ( about the program) despite the fact he has voted and reauthorized the FISA patriot act legislation that allowed for this activity since Bush Jr. era.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:53:49 AM PDT

  •  like the ATT of old: I see nothing to see here.... (0+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:59:42 AM PDT

  •  First, (0+ / 0-)

    who is paying the estate of JRR Tolkien for use of the name palantir?

    Second, do these butt-sniffing douchecanoes remember what happened to Saruman, Pippin and Denethor when they used the palantiri? We can only hope that are as ensnared and ruined by their own palantiri.

  •  Making a tape for the government with all (0+ / 0-)

    the pertinent data in a predetermined format then delivering it to the NSA is not direct access.  That's what is going on. All the info the NSA wants is packaged up on a backup medium and sent via sneaker mail to the NSA.

    "It's no measure of health being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

    by buckshot face on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:31:53 PM PDT

  •  Anonymous dumps on NSA. Will Google, Apple (0+ / 0-)

    et al be far behind?

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/...

    "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do..... Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." Grant

    by shigeru on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:44:22 PM PDT

  •  Tech companies deny knowledge (0+ / 0-)

    In other news, water is wet...

    (sorry, I couldn't resist ;))

    I don't understand why a few people here persist in floating the "Our government has been doing this for a long time, why is everyone so (shocked/surprised)?" as if we should all minimize this reaction, or ignore this altogether.

    How many times does this kind of utterance have to have bullshit called on it before it stops? Very, very few people are actually surprised. The prevailing emotion here is anger.

    "Surprise" and "Anger" are, in fact, two separate emotions. Regardless if one can be angry and surprised at the same time.  This is nothing more than a mis-use of language, and it really needs to stop.

    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

    by lunachickie on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 01:41:58 PM PDT

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