Welcome to the Surveillance State
PRISM is officially a thing. The NSA and the White House aren't attempting to deny it exists, just that it's not quite what it's made out to be or that it's necessary. What is it? The NSA's attempt to get access to every electronic communication you have ever had. Oh, but don't worry, it's totally cool, they ensure there's a 51% chance the individual they start to really look hard at is a foreign national. After they've already collected all the data.
It's been confirmed that Verizon wireless has been handing over phone records of ALL its customers to the NSA. That's number's dialed and received, call duration, locations calls were made and it's likely all the major carriers have been doing it as well.
Microsoft (2007), Yahoo (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), YouTube (2010), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012) are all shown as participants in the program. So far they have all tried to deny it (shocking) but the government hasn't tried to debunk any of the information that's come out just saying that it's being misrepresented. Mind you, under the FISA act it's pretty much illegal for these companies to acknowledge or disclose any activity like this anyways. Anything these companies have on you, any information stored with them, and information that passes through them or has gone through them in the past is an open book to the NSA. Combine that with access from the major wireless carriers and any electronic communication, data, or document you've ever had that crossed through any of those networks is available to the NSA.
The NSA is banned from conducting operations against U.S. citizens. It's flat out fucking law. They are skirting around this by requiring a 51% confidence that data being collected is on a foreign national. Which means that 49% of the time they're after citizens. If they realizes that someone they're looking into is a citizen the promise, scout's honor, that the data is destroyed but PRISM's own documentation blows off this law breaking by calling it no big deal and not to bother reporting it to supervisors.
Combined with the Narus installations on the fiber optic backbones the NSA can monitor anything it wants, and 49% of the time, it's US citizens. No warrants, no due process, the 4th Amendment can kiss the NSA's ass. This program is also being overseen by the executive branch. And I have to hand it to Obama. He knew about PRISM and everything we don't know about, and he didn't start giggling when he swore, "To Preserve, Protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." He probably muttered something about, "the parts that aren't inconvenient," in there somewhere. Legislative too though not all of them, and Judiciary, again not all of them but these are people who should look at this and say, "No, this is just wrong."
PRISM and EVERY program like it are blatant violations of the 1st and 4th Amendments and should be abolished immediately. The terrorist threat is largely imaginary and used as a flimsy justification to strip US citizens of even more of their constitutional rights. Think it's crazy? Remember last month when we found out government agencies were abusing their power to target groups not popular with the current administration? Notice how Microsoft was first on board with PRISM and their new game console has an HD webcam and microphone as part of it's core that cannot be disconnected and must be allowed to phone home once every 24 hours? It's stopped being a conspiracy theory, it's now reality.
And just to get out in front of the imbeciles who use the argument, "Well if you're not doing anything wrong..." Read this
and fucking learn. You don't have to be doing anything wrong for pervasive government surveillance to start infringing your rights. The people getting targeted by the IRS did nothing illegal, they just held a political opinion those in power didn't care for. Sound familiar?
I used to think people who were terrified of government surveillance were paranoid. Now we've had it confirmed with fucking powerpoint slides making light of blatantly breaking the law and the assholes who are supposed to protect our freedoms are telling us to shut and just participate in our minute of hate against the terrorists.
It's 29 years late but fuck it, it's here.