“Don’t be ridiculous. We would never allow the government to spy on our clients.”
Well this will probably come as no shock to most but they were lying. A new story has broken which exposes that payments were not only made to these companies, but that those payments are required by law.
That’s ironic, don’t you think? The government is required to pay for the expenses of their spying operations because it costs internet companies money. Yet if 50 perverts at the NSA complex want to look at your girlfriend’s sexy pictures they can do it for free. You don’t get a check.
Sorry. The law is not always just.
The Guardian reports:
The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.
The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo,Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.
The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.
While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance. The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.
It gets better. Much better. All of those denials may come with an asterisk (*) now because it appears they were bold-face lies and half-truths.
According to The Guardian a Yahoo spokesperson said: “Federal law requires the US government to reimburse providers for costs incurred to respond to compulsory legal process imposed by the government. We have requested reimbursement consistent with this law.”
Microsoft’s spokesperson was quoted as saying, “Microsoft only complies with court orders because it is legally ordered to, not because it is reimbursed for the work. We could have a more informed discussion of these issues if providers could share additional information, including aggregate statistics on the number of any national security orders they may receive.”
Sounds to me like they are talking about “blood money.”
Let me make one thing clear. We heard nothing of any major lawsuits launched by any of these companies when the government decided to begin its spying exploits. They were complicit. They are trying to act like the good guys who are ruled only by the hands of a tyrannical government. When you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar you have to say something. Usually the first thing out of your mouth is not the truth. But eventually we will get there.
They knew. These companies are filled with brilliant employees who will absolutely know if and when anyone is tapping into their servers.
All of those millions of dollars of campaign contributions that get rewarded with perks and kickbacks tell a much different story than poor little multi-billion dollar companies that comply with an occasional court order because they have to.
The American people are not stupid. Big government and big business are one in the same. They work together and are equally responsible for violating our rights.
That is how I feel.
What do you think?