Right now there are a hundred articles just like this on the internet. What the most recent scandal suggests is that not only have the phone companies like Verizon been giving our information and phone records to the government but the top 9 internet companies have been doing it for the last 4 years. Microsoft was the first, followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online. The NSA and Federal Government say this is all part of their plan to search for terrorist activity. So far all of these companies have denied any involvement or knowledge of the program or giving the NSA direct access to their servers. The only company who seems to not be on the list currently is Twitter.
I would be very interested in knowing how well the PRISM program works. There were reports that the Boston bombing suspects were posting very suspicious things on their Twitter and Facebook in the weeks leading up to the attack. I wonder if the PRISM program is even able to detect these loan wolves and if not then what’s the point of the program in the first place? We are already aware of the blogs and websites that organized extremists use.
I personally have no problem with the program. If the government wants to see pictures of me and my friends and the nonsense conversations we have that’s fine. As a social media user I already know that everything I do is saved in a database somewhere and the employees of these programs can access my information whenever they want.
My questions for the class are:
Do you think the program will do anything to help protect us?
Do you care that the government is doing this?