FBI, NSA gathering user info from Apple, Google, Microsoft and more: Report


amny (Credit: (Nancy Borowick))

The FBI and NSA have been tapping into the central servers of nine major tech companies, including Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft, siphoning personal information from users, according to a report in The Washington Post on Thursday.

The program, code-named PRISM, was established in 2007 for the purpose of anti-terrorism, and collects "audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time," the Post reported.

The earliest partner in the program was Microsoft in 2007, joined in order by Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. (PalTalk, the smallest member of the group, provides free video chatting.)

Online storage service Dropbox was set to join the roster, the Post said.

Government officials declined to comment to the Post. Google, Facebook and Apple all said Thursday that they don't participate in the program.

PRISM was disclosed to the Post by a career intelligence officer who gave the newspaper PowerPoint slides and other documents about the program to "expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy," the Post said.

The news came just a day after The Guardian reported that the NSA collects the phone records of tens of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon.


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