PRISM Poll: Do You Care About the Government Mining Internet Data?

Simple yes or no answers here, but feel free to elaborate in the comments section.

  • Share
  • Read Later

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:

  • E-mail
  • Chat — video, voice
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Stored data
  • VoIP
  • 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.

16 comments
Joe_Montfort
Joe_Montfort

Looking at the poll results, and people say they care by more than a 2:1 margin. Wonder how many of them were for the Patriot Act?

nofail
nofail

We really dont care because this is,sadly and happily, our best american reference on that : Star trek TNG s03e10 The defector. It is a clean and entertaining plot with surprising and advanced forensics "shielding" us from weak conspiracy theories. I will keep my google and facebook accounts. TNG Bluray version now.

steven_chaffin
steven_chaffin

It seems to me that this is less a question of "do we want our government to have access to our information?" but "do we trust our government?"

Look, if we fully trusted our government and suspected no corruption, it would seem completely reasonable and ideal for the government to be able to use our information for our own well-being.  It's only when we begin to consider corruption within the government that we begin to consider questions such as:

Is my data actually being used for my data?

Is the government attempting to exploit citizens?

Frankly, I see a lot of problems with the government's ability to freely access our data.  It's even more frightening that they apparently have this data without the knowledge of the companies they're taking it from.  Very strange, indeed.  But I do think that we live in a new world of interconnectivity and the free-flow of information, and also in an age of increasing terrorism.  Therefore, it is sometimes necessary that we relinquish some of our freedom for our own good.  It's not as though the government's ability to access our information is stopping us from doing anything.  It only means that someone is watching over our shoulder -- not controlling us like puppets, but ensuring that what we're doing isn't a threat to national security or that someone else, through us, is not doing so.  It is privacy that is at stake here, not freedom.  We're not being prevented from doing anything no matter how much of our information the government can access.

I do think that these types of programs need to become more transparent.  We need to hear about them more, and we don't want to hear company leaders saying one thing and the government saying something entirely different.  If the government is accessing our information, fine, but don't hide it under a veil.  Come out and say that you're taking our information, and tell us why.  That, albeit with a small sense of ongoing discomfort and concern, is acceptable.

@steven_chaffin  

cryofreezer
cryofreezer

Then - I regret that I have but one life to give for my Country

Now- To hell with the Country-  Save me Nanny Sam!

RudyHaugeneder
RudyHaugeneder

The majority of dumb and once freedom loving USA citizens approve of PRISM.  Fools.

The evil American Empire -- and, unfortunately, it's cruel demented stepmother Britain -- is spreading its control-hungry tentacles into every home possible, no matter where. 


America is evolving into as savage an empire as the Mongol hordes that once ravaged European empires including the Roman Empire. 

Chicago School of Economics understudy, Warlord Obama, has expanded the empire's security structure, including a foreign conquering professional military as brutal as any in the past several centuries, to the point where the established powers will retain absolute control until America rises in another brutal civil war to restore civil and individual rights and freedoms to all its citizens. 

Why else do you think police forces across America have been equipped with battlefield weapons normally use to fend off invasions? -- to protect those in power in a once free USA increasingly known everywhere, including among a small percentage of its citizens, as the evil American Empire whose motto is "Just Society. Just for the rich."

pkd603
pkd603

The people the state needs to have surveillance dystems in place.

pkd603
pkd603

It really does not matter. There are far bigger things at stake. Our personal lives are not that important. We have almost all the freedom we need to enjoy our lives so long we are not harming others or breaking law. In a few more years most of the things we like which are harmless and peaceful will be legalised. In an age of cyber space in thr interest of the safety of the

dmcrane
dmcrane

Police suspect a someone of a murder/criminal conspiracy, they have the person's phone number and get a court order and subpoena phone records to see who he's been talking to.  We call that police work.  When they find someone he's talking to frequently, particularly near the time the crime occured, they get a court order and get permission to listen in on the suspicious calls.  You cannot, in this day and age of terrorism, expect to have perfect privacy and perfect safety.  Same thing. I have less problems with my government, with frequent oversight, checking my records than I do Google or other Internet beings following my internet needs and bombarding me with commercials and selling my info.

Dred
Dred

The biggest danger, is not what the government does, but what industry does with its data.  The 'cloud' system is the greatest vulnerability as more and more people lose control over the data they possess and willingly store it off site.  The one day a subpoena arrives telling the storage facility to allow government officials to have access to this data and if they do so with inferior security systems, and all the data 'protected' by he 'cloud' system no longer prevails, it is "Chi Chi" (thank you) from Shanghai.

At the University that I attend, which uses the 'cloud' here in Australia, I recommend to all who listen, "Do not put anything you want to keep private or secret on the University's system, as it goes to the USA and anything that travels over America owned satellites, or cable systems or stored in an American facility is available to the NSA or similar organizations."  This has been the case for years, event though today PRISM is but a few years old. 

The greatest threat to the American Constitution as far as privacy is concerned is the 'non-thinking doing the unthinkable.'  Is it not plainly stupid to keep secret documents on a computer that has data communications facilities that can be broken, maybe not today but maybe the day after?

While human beings can make a judgement error, the compounding effects are immense when dealing with very personal and damaging data that can become information to the 'busybodies' of this world.

lauriemgold
lauriemgold

Although I've been a heavy user of the Internet since the mid-1990s, I think we are going to wake up at some point in the future and not recognize how much of ourselves we've traded away for expediency and security. I've supported Obama all along, but recent developments are truly frightening.

MattSpire
MattSpire

Strange how people believe they absolutely need their Second Amendment rights in the event that they should like to overtake their government, yet are willing to let the government know absolutely every little detail about them without a warrant.

RafaelAntonio
RafaelAntonio

How do we get rid of PRISM? we need this to go away. 9/11 was a bad event but we cannot give up our privacy and freedoms because of it. the more freedom we give up the more the government is in our business the less secure we are. 

deb_ch
deb_ch

"I don't care" - that's what many of you might think. But how do these people examining the information gathered rate your communication habits, even just randomly, and how would they use sensitive information in combination with.. let's say the recently adapted drones program, where it says that basically any suspect can be eliminated on the sheer possibility of commiting an act of terrorism. It might be not as much of an impact as 9/11, but if one of the maybe innocent individuals was you, would you really rather still not care?

Less dramatic, but what still could have an impact on your personal life is eg information about your health, weight, smoking or drinking habits, your neighbourhood, friends, job history, etc.. Ever wondered why you maybe have to pay more for insurances or get less paid back? Or you didn't get a job for some odd reason? Think again.

Ironside
Ironside like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have nothing to hide, therefore do not care.

BorisIII
BorisIII

I don't like it but its better than having another 9/11.

zero
zero like.author.displayName 1 Like

Have we sacrificed our liberty for security?