We’ve joked for years that the NSA was reading your mail, but it turns out they really are — and your providers are helping them.
PRISM is complete bullshit, and must stop.
The Times today, in reaction, echoes something I said after Bush’s power grabs: no Executive ever gave up power. Bush did lasting damage that subsequent presidents won’t undo:
“The administration has now lost all credibility,” the Times’ editors write. “Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.”
More from The Verge; providers allowing the NSA unfettered and direct back-end access without proper warrants (the only court oversight is, of course, a secret court) include Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Skype. AOL, too, which is kind of adorable. Dropbox is said to be joining the program soon.
These companies, when asked for comment today, are denying their participation — but one would do well to recall that even Senators could not discuss the program before due to legal prohibitions. It’s entirely possible that the PR flacks speaking for Microsoft, Apple, etc., either don’t know, or are legally enjoined for speaking truthfully. (It’s certainly well-known that PR folks can live without souls, so this is hardly surprising.)