Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some private firms like Microsoft may have a distinct conflict of interest.

Edward Snowden has provided documents to the media that reveal Microsoft and other internet firms that professed dedication to protecting privacy, were among the greatest collaborators with the NSA.

Edward Snowden was first publicized by the Guardian which continues to publish information about the U.S. government mass-surveillance program, PRISM.

Edward Snowden was first publicized by the Guardian which continues to publish information about the U.S. government mass-surveillance program, PRISM.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Snowden, privacy, Guardian, NSA, government, leak, Microsoft, collaboration


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scale of cooperation between Silicon Valley and the NSA is truly stupendous. According to documents released by the Guardian, Microsoft was very keen to cooperate with the NSA.

The Guardian explained that Microsoft went so far as to:

- Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

- The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

- The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

- Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

- In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

- Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Ironically, it's the same private tech firms that are lobbying the Obama administration for permission to disclose more information to the public about their relationship with government surveillance operators. Firms such as Microsoft claim that they only provide information that is specifically mandated by the government.

Those mandates are supposed to take the form of a warrant, and must always do so any time an American citizen is involved.

However, the NSA surveillance program is permitted to harvest domestic intelligence data if an operator believes there is a 51 percent chance or better that one or more of the communicating parties is located outside of the United States.

Documents reveal that operators routinely perform surveillance on Americans, and have the ability to go so far as to wiretap the Oval Office itself.

It has also been noted previously, that a secret court grants these warrants, and that they very rarely reject any request for warrants, even when the warrant is for a person on American soil.

Despite the public's spin by Microsoft and others, Snowden has claimed that the relationship between Silicon Valley and the NSA is "deep and ongoing." In other words, the level of collaboration between tech giants and the NSA is far greater than we would like to imagine.

It's easy to understand why. After all, these tech giants are also the ones who fill contracts to build the systems that the NSA and other government agencies use. There is a distinct conflict of interest for these agencies to cooperate as fully as possible with even the slightest request. Of course, publicly it's bad business to be open with the truth.

Perhaps the greatest problem is that the American people still do not understand what is really happening. Government surveillance programs are being conducted in a manner that remains of obscure, and their effects are open to debate. These programs also have long-term implications and provoke Constitutional questions.

The American people deserve an open and honest discussion on these programs, how they operate, and whether or not we are comfortable sacrificing the measure of privacy they require to work. How much freedom, if any, we are willing to sacrifice in exchange for safety should not be decided merely by the president, or some government agency, or even the legislature. Instead, these questions should only be decided by the American people themselves, and this can only be done following open and honest national dialogue.

One thing is clear, it's highly unlikely that there will ever be any openness or honesty from either our government or the private firms to collaborate with them.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter