Yeah….sure, Zuck….we believe you….whatever.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Several major internet companies may not have given the federal government “direct access” to their servers to facilitate snooping for personal data, as was initially alleged by a report earlier this week, but many of them did agree to set up special access to their data when requested through secret court orders, according to a report in the New York Times late Friday.
Companies such as Google (s goog), Facebook (s fb) and Apple (s aapl) all claimed this week that they had never heard of a National Security Agency program called PRISM that reportedly gave intelligence analysts access to all kinds of personal data stored on the servers of the largest internet companies on the planet. But while the NSA may not have shared the code name for the project, first disclosed in reports from The Washington Post and the Guardian Thursday, “the companies were essentially asked to erect a locked mailbox and give the government the key,” the Times reported, citing “people briefed on the negotiations” between tech companies and the government. And while companies “bristled” at the request, they acquiesced.
Facebook — whose founder, Mark Zuckerberg, slammed what he called “outrageous press reports” in a statement Friday — actually built a system for the NSA that allowed it to securely transmit data to the government if requested under the FISA law, according to the report. It’s not clear what any of the other companies named as having negotiated with the government — Apple, AOL (s aol), Google, Microsoft (s msft), Paltalk and Yahoo (s yhoo) — may have done to facilitate access to user data.