The government has been busy the last few months: first it was more Benghazi, then the IRS and now the NSA. What’s next?
After whistleblower Edward Snowden came forward to announce the depths of the National Security Agency’s spying on Americans through every major Internet platform available, companies like Facebook and Google have been scrambling to release data on how many users’ accounts were officially tapped into by the government.
When Facebook shared their numbers, they gave an estimate of 18,000 to 19,000 accounts that were involved in the last six months alone. Facebook was not allowed to give any further specifics beyond that estimate, but the company’s lawyer Ted Ullyot said Facebook wanted to reassure everyone that only “a tiny fraction of one percent” of its over a billion users were affected by the government’s data requests.
Microsoft also revealed that it received requests on 31,000 accounts in the last half of 2012 alone. Google is still working out its deal with the government on what the government will allow Google to tell us. (By the way, Facebook and Google are both connected to In-Q-Tel, the funding arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.)
So there you go. No big deal, right? It was only like 50,000 people who officially had their privacy violated (and the numbers are just getting bigger by the day). No word yet on how many people’s emails, texts, videos, pictures, voice chats and more was culled directly from servers who didn’t even do anything wrong accept to go online.
The Independent reported:
“Google, Facebook and Microsoft have contradicted reports about ‘direct access’ to their servers, and it now appears that at least some of the companies allowed neither government-controlled equipment on their property nor direct searches without company employees vetting each inquiry.” [emphasis added]
Doesn’t that make you feel so much better about PRISM slides showing the government has been gaining direct access to the servers of every major Internet company since 2007?