Microsoft employees detailed the increase of data collection from the government under the guide of the PRISM program, even giving it a nickname, “hoovering”, named after J. Edgar Hoover, who used to keep intelligence files on his political opponents to pull out in “negotiations” aka political blackmail. This dates back to the Bush era, prior to PRISM. Once PRISM was enacted, a sealed court order gave permission to spy on citizens under the blanket of the Patriot Act.
According to the Associated Press, it turns out that PRISM is just a “small part” of our new surveillance state. Information is being “hoovered” from our fiber optic cables, but supposedly, that information is just dumped onto a computer. Technically, they NSA and other intelligence officials are not allowed to read emails, until those emails are “relevant” to a national security issue. Maybe. Kind of. Or that’s at least how it’s supposed to work.
The Young Turks have more on this story:
- AP: the secret behind NSA’s Prism program? “Even bigger data seizure.” (boingboing.net)
- Verizon: Spy Order Prevents Us From Admitting to Spy Order (news.antiwar.com)