08 June 2013

Two Giant Techs: Facebook and Google on PRISM Secret Government Program

Quite a buzz in the tech world today, there are so many reports and news everywhere. For some who didn't take a chance to read and digest, these statements might horrify individuals including privacy issues.



Just this Morning, i received lots of news about 2 tech giants allegedly join in the so-called PRISM, a secret surveillance program. These two(2) Silicon Valley topnotched, Facebook and Google denying the knowledge of the secret program that NSA(National Security Agency) could direct access in these two 2 giant servers.

It was on the 41 slides document which leaked NSA document which authenticated by the Guardian. According to Guardian, it is legally-compelled collection. In the presentation it has tech corporate companies claimed to be in the PRISM project. Corporate companies include: Yahoo!, Google, Skype, Facebook, Youtube,Apple and AOL.


What is PRISM
Last friday, US President Barack Obama confirmed its existence(Read: NSA since 2007).

PRISM is a secret U.S. government program that offers to National Security Agency to direct access to corporate servers.

Why would these corporate tech companies agree to this program? According to Gizmodo, they said it is mostly they HAVE NO CHOICE. What if they would not participate? The government may file a lawsuit against them which is very harmful and expensive.

Two tech giants in a Statements
Facebook and Google posted a quite similar statement both denying the allegedly joining a secret program called PRISM in their individual blog posts.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his wall about PRISM.
I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:
Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.
We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.
Source:  https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100828955847631

Few people hate it but there are some OKs with Mark Zuckerberg's statement about the PRISM.

Google's co-founder Larry Page in the Google' Blog What the....?

Dear Google users—
You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.
First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.
Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer

These two tech giants have similar statement. Is there any conspiracy happening here? Who knows? We will see it in near future.

P.S.
Google's blog very cool and awesome title post. What the...? ^_^

Sources and good to read:
  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/google-facebook-prism-surveillance-program
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/prism-tech-giants-shock-nsa-data-mining
  3. http://gizmodo.com/what-is-prism-511875267
  4. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57588313-93/facebook-ceo-denies-knowledge-of-nsas-prism-program/
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