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So, another "surveillance scandal": according to documents leaked by an anonymous NSA employee and published by Washington Post (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0z ), NSA has direct access to data, gathered by nine rather big American companies - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, other five I don't recall at the moment. Big Brother is, apparently, watching.

If you put down your tinfoil hat however, in the leaked slides you can find a tasty tidbit: the last slide (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0A ) states that the yearly cost of this surveillance program is 20 million USD. As far as government programs go, these are peanuts, a change from the couch. I might have misunderstood the slide, of course, but if not, then what we have here is not really TOTAL INVASION OF PRIVACY, more like ordinary cooperation with government agencies. The three-letter agency creates a request for data access, special FISA court (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0B ) reviews the request, if they approve it - the agency gets the data it wanted. Does it bother you that the companies are required to comply with requests? This is nothing new: http://u.42.pl/2K0C . Maybe it bothers you that the FISA court rubber-stamps everything that comes across it? This is nothing new too: http://u.42.pl/2K0D ).

To make matters even more spicy, every corporation named in the WP article denies this broad access to data (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0E ). Google went as far as to say (in a blog post signed by Larry Page himself) that they basically read about the PRISM in newspapers (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0F . The White House says that everything is legal and besides the program targets the foreign data only (see here: http://u.42.pl/2K0G ), so there's nothing to worry about. Whom should you trust?

Trust nobody, of course. It is obvious that various three-letter agencies have both means and legal support to look into your data and metadata. It is obvious that this capability can be abused. It is obvious that it may be used as a tool of oppression. If you want privacy, you should read up on data and communication security and become comfortable with methods used by spies.
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Olgierd Ziolko's profile photowitold witaszewski's profile photoJakub Turski's profile photo
 
Well... I'm not so convicted if Larry actuall has to  knew that - we're speaking about security clearance. Just thinking out loud.
 
isn't he the ceo? isn't it his job to know these things?
even if not, this does not explain the 20 million USD sticker price: this is not the kind of money that gets you direct access to the biggest companies' data.
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