US Government Harvesting Phone, Internet Data

Posted by Sir Four at 10:18pm Jun 7 '13
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I'm not going to do it justice with a detailed post, but this is the summary:

The Guardian reports that the NSA has been storing bulk phone call data (not recordings, but phone numbers, dates and times, etc.). This program was begun under Bush and continued under Obama. A FISA warrant is ostensibly required to dig into the data for particular individuals--that is, the NSA isn't actively data-mining all the records all the time, but they are storing them in order to look back on them if they have a reason to.

Additionally, they are storing data obtained from companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and others under an operation named PRISM. The companies named all deny giving the NSA a "back door" to their data, but somehow the NSA has access to some of their data via unspecified means. It may be that these companies are providing a subset of their data (a "data dump") to the NSA on a recurring basis.

The Obama administration defends these efforts as part of the national defense against terrorism.

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