US Surveillance on top Internet Servers via PRISM Programme

Jun 8, 2013 17:05 IST

Top secret documents obtained by The Guardian claimed that US National Security Agency (NSA) has obtained direct access to the systems of Facebook, Google, Apple and other US internet giants. All this was done under the secret program of US to search the data potentially linked with terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation.

The US agency tapped into the central servers of different internet giants under the six-year old programme, code-named PRISM. Under this program, the FBI and NSA searched for the emails, videos, photographs, search history, the content of emails, file transfers, live chats and other documents.

Existence of the program PRISM was confirmed by James Clapper, US Director of National Intelligence. As per Clapper, the information accessed under the programme is among the most valuable intelligence information collected by the agency and has been helpful in protecting US from a wide range of threats.

The IT companies which were directly into surveillance of the US Agency were Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple and all these companies denied the knowledge of surveillance despite the of the claims that the programme was assisted by them.

Year

Organisation that Joined Prism Programme

11 September 2007

Microsoft

12 March 2008

Yahoo

14 January 2009

Google

3 June 2009

Facebook

7 December 2009

Paltalk

3 June 2009

Skype

24 September 2010

You Tube

31 March 2011

AOL

2012

Apple

The program was started in the George Bush Era in the year 2007, with Microsoft as the first company to be involved in the Programme. President Barack Obama renewed the changes in surveillance laws in the year 2012, which were made under Bush making information accessible by NSA.

US spent 20 million dollar annually on PRISM and its operations; this is a small percentage of 8 Billion Dollar annual budget for NSA. Since its beginning, the number of intelligence reports cited by PRISM is 77000. As per the latest data, the NSA issued about 2000 PRISM-based reports every month. In the year 2012, NSA issued a total of 24005 reports.

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Read more Current Affairs on: PRISM Programme , US PRISM , Prism , National Security Agency , NSA , James Clapper

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