The Washington Post reports that the government is mining data from tech sites, companies and services such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, YouTube, Skype and Apple. The program is reportedly code-named PRISM.
According to the article, “Several companies contacted by The Post said they had no knowledge of the program, did not allow direct government access to their servers and asserted that they responded only to targeted requests for information.” However, according to apparent National Security Agency slides explaining the program, the above-mentioned companies are on the list and the following types of data can be collected:
- Chat — video, voice
- Stored data
- File transfers
- Video Conferencing
- Notifications of target activity — logins, etc.
- Online Social Networking details
- Special Requests
Why is this data being collected? According to The Post‘s article:
In a statement issued late Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said “information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”
And now the million-dollar question: Do you care that this data is being collected? Simple yes or no answers here — feel free to elaborate in the comments section below.