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Yahoo, Twitter & Prism. Does The Government Get Your Data?

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PRISM is a secret codename for a very real US government program. According to leaked documents, it’s been in effect since early 2007 and from the looks of it, has no intention of slowing down. The big question that is being asked right now is: Has Twitter escaped the NSA’s prying eye? We know from sources like the Washington Post and The Guardian that the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and many more have all fallen victims to the FBI directly tapping into their servers for surveillance purposes.

Acknowledging the existence of PRISM, the Obama administration said that the program targets only foreigners and is authorized under surveillance law. Most companies that participate in this, willingly or otherwise, have denied involvement according to the Guardian and the Washington Post.

Yahoo’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer created a stir by commenting on a request for a judicial surveillance order in conjunction with national surveillance laws, saying that “if you don’t comply, it is treason.”

She suggested that company executives would have faced criminal charges of treason had they refused to cooperate with a court-ordered national security request. She also stated that it struck her as a “very farfetched interpretation” of treason. Disobeying a judicial surveillance order is a serious offense. According to some legal experts, it’s not even remotely plausible that this would be considered an act of treason.

One can speculate why Twitter’s involvement in PRISM has been near non-existent. Tweets are public domain and anyone can search for this data accordingly. Currently, only direct messages and locked profiles have data that the public can’t see. When will the NSA be knocking down the door for that information? No one knows.

Yahoo and Google are also currently petitioning the surveillance court order for the right to make public more details about the scope of the data requests they are getting from the government. As Ms. Mayer states:

“If you don’t comply, it’s treason. We can’t talk about it because it’s classified. Releasing confidential information is treason and you are incarcerated.” – Marissa Mayer, Quote Source: Wall Street Journal

View the full Nov/Dec ASPE-ROI Newsletter to read this full article and much more.


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