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FBI and NSA allegedly have backdoors into servers from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube, Apple, and more

Big_Brother_is_Watching_Wide

Well, this is a bit disheartening (if not completely unsurprising). The Washington Post has written an eye-opening report detailing how — no matter which multi-billion dollar company you trust your data with — none of it is safe from prying eyes. This is according to an informant who works as a “career intelligence offer,” and has handed over slides detailing a top-secret program code-named “PRISM.”

The PRISM data collection program provides the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) with easy access into the servers of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, PalTalk, AOL, and Dropbox “coming soon.” There, they can mine and extract whatever data they want, whenever they want. Everything from audio, video, photos, emails, documents, and connections logs — basically everything you may have thought was private.

This comes after news that the NSA had been working with Verizon to collect millions of call logs from customers over the past 3 months, all in an effort to help prevent terrorism, and keep you safe. You can read more in the full Washington Post article here.

Update 1: Apple responds to CNBC saying, “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers..”

Update 2: Google responds saying, “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”

Update 3: Facebook responded with, “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”




  • Carlos

    Big brother always watching you.

    • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

      Pffft…

  • mhmmd123

    Good excuse, huh they really care about us.
    If that the truth, they should start to work on our economy in the country, not fighting.

  • Barry D.

    Time to setup my own exchange server again. Maybe some kind of cloud storage too. Something as simple as a FTP Server.

    • NorthVandea

      Maybe the FBIs backdoor is built into the code of Microsoft Exchange?!? Consider that… Perhaps it would be better to try a less user friendly Linux alternative like PostFix… Just a thought provoking comment.

      • Sterling Mace

        Of course there is a back door, m$ themselves admitted that they “consulted” with NSA to “improve security” in their products.

        I personally am waiting on startmail or Mega to provide email service and if I need cloud storage I use Mega because of the client side encryption and a non logging VPN service like privateinternetaccess. Oh and of course I run Linux :)

  • JBrowne1012

    Google is great, If you dislike this comment you love WP7 and iOs.

    • louched1

      No and no.

    • shonangreg

      Facebook owned by google? Where did you ever come up with that idea, JBrowne? You think Apple is owned by microsoft too? Samsung by Sony?

      • JBrowne1012

        I have no idea what you are speaking of I never said such words

        • shonangreg

          Farfetched that it could have happened? I don’t know. What a hypothetical! I Just know that if it had ever happened, it would have been huge news. Everyone posting on tech sites like phandroid certainly would know about it.

          Why don’t you use your Samasung Galaxy iPhone 5 to check? I’m sure AT&T’s Verizon subdivision won’t use the SOPA legislation that passed this spring thanks to President Romney to block your search like they did in successfully removing all the porn from the internet ;-)

          • JBrowne1012

            who brought up iPhone? this is phandroid go somewhere troll.

        • jroc74

          So…you are mad because you were grossfully wrong…and got corrected?

          • JBrowne1012

            I have no idea what you are talking about.

    • AuXroid

      Yeah, Facebook is owned by Google and Microsoft is owned by Apple.

      Figuratively speaking.

  • NicolausOlaguez

    The end user is the only one in which the govt has an all access ‘backdoor’ pass :(

  • Atomic Shroom

    Come on, we all know it and if you’re not ‘being bad’ its not a problem. Why would any intelligence agency not keep tabs? It’s not right but it is in our defence. And if it isn’t then they are only using data that is available to private entities therefore could be bought by the highest bidder?

    • JBrowne1012

      No it is a problem regardless if you are bad or not and that kind of thinking you have is the same type of thinking that allows the government to take away freedoms. Its not right if there is expectation of privacy government should be required to get a warrant to look at it not some back door access.

    • bmg314

      Wow. Any intelligence agency keeping those kind of tabs on its citizens is coming dangerously close to being akin to something along the lines of the KGB, Gestapo, etc. I don’t mean to insult you, so don’t take it that way, but please read up on some history.

    • Don Turner

      @Atomic Shroom you are absolutely 100% right!!! Let them have their access if it could help to prevent another national tragedy

      • Gladiator_Posse

        Listen stupid…It’s a privacy issue. I’m not “being bad” when I take a dump, but I still close the door.
        And PS…these violations of the 4th Amendment have not averted a single tragedy. You are the mindless sheeple that will be the downfall of our once great nation.

        • Don Turner

          and Gladiator Posse I bet you own a stock pile of guns and ammo too and you probably saw the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary as a laughing matter…. You probably thought of that the movie theater shooting in Aurora as a plot by Warner Brothers and Cinemark to get more people to go and see The Dark Knight Rises. Its people like YOU that create a need for intelligence agencies to watch people emails, etc. You are probably in your mothers basement right now plotting something yourself.

          • Gladiator_Posse

            Thanks for proving my point…did the invasion of privacy stop that shooting? Try again with your hypotheticals too…Don’t forget to pick up your welfare check.

          • Don Turner

            Would you mind pointing me in the direction of that office… I am pretty sure you frequent the place often! My guess is that you are Republican and more than likely from the south too. Are you Southern Baptist? You probably still support the ideas of slavery, am I right? Unlike you I am a college graduate that works a 9 – 5 for a living and support my family along with my working wife. I do not rely on the monetary aids from the gov’t to survive stupid but thanks for proving you are the type of person that I thought you are. A bigot! I understand the you may still be a little salty that Mitt Romney did not win the Presidential election too so I will simply view your comments as your opportunity to vent your frustrations about the hand that you have been dealt in life. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!!!

          • AmericanPatriot4

            [You probably still support the ideas of slavery, am I right?]

            Wow. It didn’t take long to go there.

            [you are the type of person that I thought you are. A bigot!]

            And there.

            [I understand the you may still be a little salty that Mitt Romney did not win the Presidential election]

            And there.

            [God bless you and God bless the United States of America!!!]

            From the comments you are making, it’s seems like you don’t care about both of what you just blessed.

            That entire paragraph was dedicated to making wild accusations about a person based on the simple argument of liberty vs safety/security from the federal government.

            It’s amazing what brainwashing will do to a person. I hope you eventually find you way out of it.

          • Guest

            You people talk about me yet you hide behind screen names and fake avatars. You know my name and you can see my face! I have nothing to hide and I still speak my mind. Gladiator_Posse speaks of wild accusations and stereotypes that I supposedly made about you yet prior to my comment you made mention of me picking up a “welfare check” Really? Really?? Really??? Now why would you make that comment and then tell me, who has really been brainwashed? Hopefully one day you will ditch your extremist ideology, realize that The Constitution was written in 1787 and that times have changed and step into 21st Century, Jack! #Pipebomb

          • Don Turner

            You people talk about me yet you hide behind screen names and fake avatars. You know my name and you can see my face! I have nothing to hide and I still speak my mind. Gladiator_Posse speaks of wild accusations and stereotypes that I supposedly made about you yet prior to my comment and made mention of me picking up a “welfare check” Really? Really?? Really??? Now why would you make that comment and then tell me, who has really been brainwashed? Hopefully one day you will ditch your extremist ideology, realize that The Constitution was written in 1787 and that times have changed and step into 21st Century, Jack! #Pipebomb

          • Yessir

            I sure hope it’s by complete magic that your post ended up on the Internet, as I am pretty sure it didn’t exist in 1787. I sure hope your freedom of speech extends beyond 18 Century printing presses and soap boxes, otherwise boy do I have some bad news for you.

          • AmericanPatriot4

            [You people talk about me yet you hide behind screen names and fake avatars.]

            Anonymity doesn’t automatically mean I have something shameful to hide. I am just careful not to fully expose my personal information to millions of total strangers.

            Furthermore, my screen name is AmericanPatriot is because I love my country. I love my country and proudly display the flag that I am laying my life down to defend. Do you have a problem with that?

            [Gladiator_Posse speaks of wild accusations and stereotypes that I supposedly made about you yet prior to my comment and made mention of me picking up a "welfare check" Really? Really?? Really???]

            I am getting blamed for what someone else said? I was merely pointing out that YOU started the wild accusations, and he was probably adding contrast in there for a taste of your own medicine. In any case, I didn’t even say that to you.

            [Now why would you make that comment and then tell me, who has really been brainwashed?]

            Again, I didn’t make the comment.

            [Hopefully one day you will ditch your extremist ideology, realize that The Constitution was written in 1787 and that times have changed and step into 21st Century, Jack! #Pipebomb]

            Oh here we go! I KNEW it would come out eventually! If you honestly think the constitution is outdated, then we can start by removing you right to free speech. Oh, and now since you said “pipebomb” I’m going to demand that the police show up to your door without a warrant and turn your house upside down while interrogating you and your family for days.

            All that can be brought to you, courtesy of an outdated constitution. It’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it,… but I think you are severely misguided if you think our founding document is outdated.

            If you really feel that way, then either forward motions to amend it or completely absolve it.

          • Don Turner

            AmericanPatriot….. ha laughable!

          • Gladiator_Posse

            Don don don…Anyone who buys into the idea that there is a significant difference between republicans and democrats has played right into the hands of big government. You’re stuck in the two party mindset. You think you “won” when Barry Satero got into office. We all lost.

            I do take issue with you calling me a bigot. Where did you get that? You’re sterotyping has also been wrong on every account. You are the bigot. I’m not from the south, not baptist, and nor do I support the welfare state which is our modern day version of slavery. You really see the need to bring race into the 4th amendment conversation just because you lost?

          • Don Turner

            Aren’t you the person who told me to go to the welfare office? what is your mindset?

          • The Dude abides

            Don, are you implying that only people of a certain race go to welfare offices? That is the only way you could extrapolate bigotry from gladiator’s statement so it’s not him.
            YOU ARE RACIST!

          • Gladiator_Posse

            Why did you bring race into the 4th amendment argument (which you lost)? With all of your stereotypes (republican, southern, baptist, slavery, etc.) it is pretty clear who the bigot is. Funny thing is, you’re wrong on every account (again)…lol.
            Obviously you are limited to the two-party mindset. Republicans are wimps. You’ve bought into the idea that there is real difference between republicans and democrats. They are both for BIG GOV’T and you are double the fool.

          • Gladiator_Posse

            You are obviosly stuck in the 2 party mindset. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the reps and dems. They are both BIG government. With all of your stereotypes Don, it’s obvious you are the bigot. I never brought up any race or religion as you have.

          • Gladiator_Posse

            I’ve tried responding 3 times and none are posting…censorship is the next step under tyranny. That’s why sites make you register to post anything…

          • Obamas Teleprompter

            Wow, you have a chip on your shoulder, whats wrong with being black? My favorite gun is Black and so is my car…

          • AmericanPatriot4

            [I bet you own a stock pile of guns and ammo too and you probably saw the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary as a laughing matter]

            It’s impossible to talk with brainless liberal zombies like yourself.

          • Gladiator_Posse

            C’mon…Don is very narrow minded, but he won’t be able to say it’s because I didn’t try to inform him. :)

          • Don Turner

            I LIKED YOUR COMMENT… FEEL BETTER?

    • Yessir

      You are everything wrong with this country with that statement.

  • yankeesrule587

    Is this really news ? Who cares ? Its nothing new and not surprising.

    • Don Turner

      what are people complaining for???

  • Philly Jim

    Ahhhhhh people are surprised…??????????

  • Stylz

    That is a major hit and violation to the 4th amendment that this country faothfully owns smdh…

    • Steven Skwarkowski

      We all waived bye-bye to these rights as soon as everyone jumped on and supported the Patriot Act. Oh yea, it was also renewed. Both of these done under 2 different offices. We can only blame ourselves to some extent.

      • AmericanPatriot4

        You mean we can only blame ourselves to EVERY extent.

        • Steven Skwarkowski

          If you believe that our government won’t break the law for there own good while lining there pockets with cash then you sir are very jaded. We simply have given the government the green light to do this. Instead of hiding behind a veil of secrecy, they can now actually blame the voting public.

          All politicians are liars and thieves regardless of our votes.

          • AmericanPatriot4

            [If you believe that our government won't break the law for there own good while lining there pockets with cash then you sir are very jaded.]

            How did you get that from what I said?

            [We simply have given the government the green light to do this]

            That’s exactly what I was saying when I said this: “we can only blame ourselves to EVERY extent”

            The people of this nation hold the ultimate power, and for the last few decades we have stood around and overwhelmed ourselves with t.v., sports, and other trivial things instead of doing our due diligence as citizens. It’s actually very sickening to see how far this country has fallen because people are generally turning into mindless government controlled drones that only live for television and celebrity gossip.

  • shonangreg

    Client-side encryption is the only responsible way to put sensitive data up on the cloud. Even stuff on your own server needs to be encrypted if it is sensitive and accessible from the internet.

    Even though parts of the story *might* be untrue, maybe this will be the catalyst that will make PGP and GPG-type plugins for email clients popular enough to begin to use casually even for non-sensitive stuff. The K-9 and kaiten email apps on android both support these, I think, not sure about the actual GMail app.

    As things are now, we’re pretty much sending message to each other in clear envelopes.

    • itmustbejj

      That’s what Bitcasa does with all your data. Everything is encrypted client-side before being uploaded.

      • shonangreg

        mega.co.nz as well.

  • Derrick

    Really you’ll didn’t know big brother is watching? Come on watch the news. Look at how many people get locked up for telephone calls and kiddy porn. Really you didn’t think your assess is bugged?. Big brother always knows what you are doing. The question is do they care about your small business and crimes. They have it for the real criminals not the small person getting free programs and rooting phones

    • fahadayaz

      Rooting a phone isn’t illegal.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Actually, they always go for the little guy. They know who supplies drugs, but they go after the dealers instead. Same thing here. They will go after us, the citizens.

    • Gladiator_Posse

      Don’t watch the news! Not the filtered, contrived lies shown on network and cable TV.

  • louched1

    Someone’s getting sent to Gitmo for this one!

    • AuXroid

      Hope it’s Obama.

    • NorthVandea

      lol

  • AuXroid

    I really don’t mind this, just like I advocate torture of suspected terrorists to safeguard our country.

    With that said, I always knew Obama was a typical hypocritical Libtard and boy has he been showing his true colors in grand fashion. LMAO

    • Yessir

      You lost all cred when you said ‘suspected’. Innocent until proven guilty, never the other way around.

      • AuXroid

        Well if you only torture convicted terrorists it kind of defeats the purpose for saving lives … duh.

    • Obamas Teleprompter

      Be careful, this website it riddled with very enlighten and intelligent Obama supporters. Most who don’t understand what real Freedom is all about…I keep my guns, my religion, my family and my data safe.

  • false reporting

    I guess the Washington post decided to write a made up report since these companies are saying they dont have back doors. Good reporting Washington post!!! Way to check your sources.

    • AuXroid

      What do you want from a liberal rag? Facts? Bah!

      • ScottColbert

        You mean right wing nut job paranoia.

    • jroc74

      If it is made up….it was a good official looking document in one article by WSJ I think. The Director of National Intelligence even came out to comment on it..and didnt disagree or say it was wrong…but did say it had some inaccuracies in it.

  • AuXroid

    I’m definitely making that picture into a bumper sticker.

  • JevyJav

    Pay close attention to the carefully worded response of each company. Google’s response is especially troubling. But is anyone truly surprised I mean really?

    • rstat1

      They all do the same. They all are required to provide data when asked. Not sure why you singled out Google as “troubling”

      Same goes for any company storing your stuff. If the gov requests access said company is required to provide it. Or go to court and fight it.

    • Carlos Bailey

      It’s never been a secret that google shares info with the government. They actually report how many request they receive grant and deny every year. It all comes down to whether or not you believe their number.

  • scoter man1

    Time to learn the security side of CS and hand out a public key to your friends so you can encrypt all of your data. (obviously just kidding) That would be the only way you could protect yourself now…

  • Sexy_Techie_Jogger

    Oh my God! You mean the public videos I put on a public site can actually be viewed by the government?

    What’s the difference between Google tracking me… and Google+Gov tracking me?

    They are still all tracking you.

  • Sexy_Techie_Jogger

    Name a handful of items where you did NOT give up some of your privacy/freedom… as a trade-off for your safety and security?

    I don’t like it that the gov makes me stop at all red lights. I have freedoms! I should be able to just blow through them!

    • Obamas Teleprompter

      i had to give up my SSN when buying a car with a seatbelt, but that was kind of forced. I do have a house alarm and own and use several guns. the 3 least used keys on my phone are 911…simply have not had a need to use it. For some reason I have been able to make it through life w/o 911

  • Jason

    As a general rule of thumb, always assume that the files you store in the cloud can be viewed by the cloud storage provider and the government.

    • Carlos Bailey

      Exactly. There is no such thing as private on the web.

      • Don Turner

        that’s what people seem to fail to realize!!!

        • AmericanPatriot4

          Ok then. Allow me to write down all of your medical history and credit card numbers.

          No privacy, right?

          • Don Turner

            then don’t go to the doctor! don’t open a bank account! don’t do online or in store shopping! better yet don’t use the internet! become a hermit and live on a deserted island in the South Pacific.

          • AmericanPatriot4

            So,… I expect general and reasonable privacy in this free nation, and you tell me to go live someone else and become a hermit.

            Do you really not have a sensible argument to present?

            Also, you never responded by to my actual points because you know I am right. If you have ever used a credit card, then I guess you don’t expect everyone to have the right to see it.

            Medical information as well. I’d like to take a look at your kids medical info just to make sure they aren’t terrorist. As a matter of fact, I need to see their report cards as well to see what they are studying.

          • http://www.jamespatillo.com James Patillo

            You should indeed expect general and reasonable privacy. The definition of this is a moving target as far as the internet is concerned.

          • Don Turner

            Dumb!

  • jroc74

    I just have one lil question…. yall think this is just now happening? One article shows it happening as early as 2007 with MS. I can bet some money it has been going on for decades….

  • AmericanPatriot4

    Is anyone really surprised? I hope you are all enjoying the new America.

    Seems like more people want “safety and security” over liberty.

    • JBrowne1012

      unfortunately… then people wonder why crap is screwed up

    • Steve

      Police states are safer too..

      • AmericanPatriot4

        lol, I’m reading that as extreme sarcasm.

      • Gladiator_Posse

        Safer for whom?

    • Sterling Mace

      “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

      Ben Franklin

      Words to live by.

    • ari_free

      Look on the bright side. You’ll now have more taxpayer funded birth control options

    • Don Turner

      people who complain about this topic are also the same one’s that complain about terrorist plots not being prevented…. #PickYourPoison!

      • AmericanPatriot4

        Since the dawn of man, we have seen terrorism on this earth. Evil will always exist here, so there are zero excuses to circumvent our freedoms for temporary safety.

        Someone really wise said that once.

        Anyone who reads and understands the U.S. Constitution knows that the document was written to explicitly spell out exactly what the federal government CANNOT do. And one of those is illegal search and seizure.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Step 1: take away guns
    Step 2: take away liberties
    Step 3: NWO

    • JSet12

      Step 4: ???
      Step 5: Profit

  • NorthVandea

    What they didn’t mention is that the back door is only used to snoop on Conservatives per Obama and Holder, same scheme as the IRS :D

  • Juggals

    their all lying

  • xcelr8ion

    They are all lying. We all knew this was happening.

  • John Schuman

    It makes me sick to my stomach…WTF

  • Ethan

    What people are failing to mention, is that this has nothing to do with somebody “having our information”.

    You’ve already given this information out.

    The real issue is that there is such a problem with the government having this information. How did we let our government become such a menacing power in our lives that it’s literally impossible to trust them to use our private information responsibly?

    The only reason we don’t trust our government with this information is we’ve given them the power to take away our freedoms because of it. We’re willing to give all of this information up already to Google and the likes, because we trust that they won’t misuse it, and we believe they don’t have the power to misuse it.

    • Don Turner

      I respect your point!

  • Carlos Santa

    And now you know why they’re trying to ram cloud computing down our throats..

    • Don Turner

      Makes sense!

  • Don Turner

    If you don’t like what they are doing then use a pen and paper!

    • Don Turner

      3 dislikes = 3 assholes

  • sowhat

    you know what ?
    I don’t care! I love it.

    I don’t care! I love it, I love it.

    I don’t care!
    :)

  • Don Turner

    If people have such a issue with the gov’t having the ability to keep tabs on what they do on the internet then don’t use the internet. IT’S GONNA HAPPEN WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

    • AmericanPatriot4

      Maybe you should move to a nation where people don’t have rights. You would probably be happier there.

      • Don Turner

        Idiot!

  • basschica

    Always assume your data/communication can be viewed by government, employers, and anyone else that could make your life hell. That way you can avoid doing things that would get you in trouble with said organizations. Assume there is a video camera on you at all times too while you’re at it since nearly everyone has one in their pocket (aside from the fact that most businesses and roads have them a-plenty). I’m not saying to be paranoid about everything in life…I’m just saying CYA and don’t be stupid. =)

  • Al bajad chupad

    Blame it on obama

  • Wetworx

    They all basically say they comply with the law…and that law would be the PATRIOT Act. Warrantless searches under the guise of national security. These companies just don’t want to admit their compliance, lest they be punished by Big Brother.

  • feztheforeigner

    Google and YouTube? I’m confused…

  • ClayRogers

    Isn’t a back door by definition one that they don’t know about or aren’t watching? It’s possible they have such access without apple or google even knowing or allowing it. I don’t believe for one second any of them would allow the government to have that kind of access