Microsoft denies participating in US online intelligence gathering efforts

Microsoft says it is not a direct participant in a data retrieval program by the US government that has been going on for years but has only just now come to light. The story was first broken by the Washington Post, which says that the National Security Agency and the FBI have been taking data such as emails, phone calls, documents and more from the main servers of Microsoft and other major technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft's Skype service.

The Washington Post's article states that the program is called PRISM and has been underway for the past several years. The article claims that Microsoft was in fact the first company that was "recruited" to be a part of the program. The government has defended its actions, claiming that the information gathered by PRISM has helped to stop a number of terrorist attacks.

Microsoft's official statement on its involvement with the PRISM program is as follows:

We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.

Other companies such as Google and Yahoo have also issued their own statements, again denying direct participation in the PRISM program

Source. Washington Post and Microsoft | Top Secret image via Shutterstock

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#We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis.#


Yeah Right! All of the responses by the 'participants' are worded carefully.
Since the NSA has direct access to these servers, they don't need to 'provide the customer data'!!! Duh!

If these companies aren't knowingly participating in this, then they need to take steps to prevent/block whatever the Government is doing to access this info. Its the exact same thing as the Government going through our USPS mail without a warrant.

I've said it many times before, but our entire Government is corrupt. Both Democrats and Republicans.

" Its the exact same thing as the Government going through our USPS mail without a warrant."

Actually they don't need a warrant between X-ray and sniffer dogs they can find out what's in your package without opening it it's only if something is not right with your package then they open it and it's only opened by those who are so authorised to do by the US Govt .... What you think they just opened every piece of mail

An always on, always connected, hi-def camera and microphone in people's front rooms is the NSA's wet dream, especially considering Microsoft starting providing information to PRISM back in 2007….

I would say that smartphones are in fact a surveillance devices; also current and upcoming gaming consoles with motion sensing can pretending to be one.

spike21 said,
An always on, always connected, hi-def camera and microphone in people's front rooms is the NSA's wet dream, especially considering Microsoft starting providing information to PRISM back in 2007….

What, exactly, would they be monitoring?

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

It's time to wake up now. Stock food, water, and firearms.

The war is upon us.

1).Quell the press 2) Take the guns 3) Spy on the people.4) Use IRS to target groups you don't like,see a pattern here.

I'm grossly turned off by the spin being tossed around by the reactions to PRISM. Just like SOPA, I feel like ego-driven panic over privacy concerns has buried the reality of the situation beneath towers of hyperbole, platitudes, buzzwords, and crap in general.

God forbid anybody ever question Internet outrage, though. It's a pure with-us-or-against-us mentality, eager to find new targets.

More than anything, I'm just tired of the exhaustive, unnecessary use of the word 'spy' in all articles about this. If you walk up to any single person on the street, anywhere in America, and ask them what they think "spying on your phone calls" means, they will tell you something along the lines of "listening in" or "eavesdropping", and as far as I can tell, sifting through all the crap, this was just metadata.

Leave out the hyperbole. No metaphors or hypotheticals allowed. With nothing but pure reasoning, can anybody explain exactly how a database of metadata is a threat to freedom?

MikeInBA said,
WaPo is backtracking on the claims that the companies knew: http://thenextweb.com/us/2013/...y-in-prism-data-collection/

Which is what i kinda expected. I honestly think the NSA has the means and know-how to do that type of surveillance w/o the companies knowledge.

Well of course they do. The Government had internet long before the rest of us even heard about it, even if it was old technology.

What people need to understand is the government are bigger liars as they have more to hide. All these corps like Microsoft and Google would not all need to publicly when evidence could easily be obtain via the Freedom of Information's Act.\

I personally would trust Microsoft and Google, before I would ever trust the Feds. EVER!!!!

Spicoli said,
That story was fake too.

Just all fake to you isn't spicolio?...governments spy and collect data? haha you guys are just paranoid >.> ...../s

Spicoli said,
That story was fake too.

Why use backdoors when you can have the holders of the information just transfer them to you? Much simpler and easier...

ramesees said,
Or given yesterdays news - Terrorists use software the FBI doesn't have a backdoor into

Common man.
I do believe they have zero days to get into most OS's, both sides.
But backdoors, if it was there purposely, it would've been found by now. Its been 2 decades, give it a rest.

And if they didn't deny it, you would...?

There is literally nothing they could say that *wouldn't* lead to people criticizing them.

Apple and Google are in the same boat as MS on this one.

Zagadka said,
And if they didn't deny it, you would...?

There is literally nothing they could say that *wouldn't* lead to people criticizing them.

Apple and Google are in the same boat as MS on this one.

While there are 2 ways to look at it. If all these corps are saying they are not directly involved, we are to assume they are all lying? How about the fact the Feds probably just barged in on their servers and are looking for data without them directly knowing.

All these corps have already stated in the past that is a Federal agency requests information with the proper credentials, like a warrant or subpoena or court order, they will comply. What else are they suppose to do.

I have no reason to believe Microsoft is lying. Why would they need to? If they say yes we have participated in such because we were ordered to, what could we do about it? NOTHING.

The Feds are trying to police the whole planet. We now have enemies thanks to all the bad stuff we have done in and to other countries. The US is afraid and they should be, because they caused the problem.

If someone drop a bomb on Washington DC, it will because the US has interfered to many lives and we are hated. If it happens so be it. What goes around comes around. There are places that aren't happy the US kills 1000's of innocent lives every year all in the name of the US Empire.

Thanks Bush for signing the Patriot Act and taking away our civil liberties. Any fool who blames Obama for this is not only stupid, but totally 100% ignorant. Bush sold our country into slavery. The slavery of being own and no long free. Thanks Bush.

TechieXP said,
Thanks Bush for signing the Patriot Act and taking away our civil liberties. Any fool who blames Obama for this is not only stupid, but totally 100% ignorant. Bush sold our country into slavery. The slavery of being own and no long free. Thanks Bush.

But Obama could have done something about it, and he just shrugged and let it keep happening. That isn't why I voted for him. That is the opposite of why I voted for him.

If one president starts killing puppies, then the next one thinks for a minute and says, "hey, let's kill kittens, too"... they are both douches.

Zagadka said,
And if they didn't deny it, you would...?

There is literally nothing they could say that *wouldn't* lead to people criticizing them.

Apple and Google are in the same boat as MS on this one.


Of course they are; as well as AT&T, T Mobile, American Express, Visa and banks. The digital age is the wet dream for any government: controlling everything is much easier than when, for example, phone lines relied on electro-mechanical switches; now with a single switch you can control millions of lines.

Zagadka said,

But Obama could have done something about it, and he just shrugged and let it keep happening. That isn't why I voted for him. That is the opposite of why I voted for him.

If one president starts killing puppies, then the next one thinks for a minute and says, "hey, let's kill kittens, too"... they are both douches.

No he can't. Congress is the power of our government, not the President. Obviously you don't know how it works. As long as the retarded Republican hav control of Congress, nothing bush did will ever be reversed. Look how Obama extended the Bush tax cuts because the Congress said no extended payments to people drawing unemployment. If I Was Obama I would have said ok. Then I will tell the people what you're doing and get you all voted out. But instead he caved.

It's not that much of a denial, imho. They just clarify and try to calm people.

"We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis."

True, but this isn't about doing it voluntarily. And of course all orders here are legally binding.

Having said that, PRISM is about collecting information within the USA from people outside of the USA who're not American citizens. So it's a concern for everyone NOT in the USA. Something something about terrorism and keeping an eye on the world.

Northgrove said,
It's not that much of a denial, imho. They just clarify and try to calm people.

"We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis."

True, but this isn't about doing it voluntarily. And of course all orders here are legally binding.

Having said that, PRISM is about collecting information within the USA from people outside of the USA who're not American citizens. So it's a concern for everyone NOT in the USA. Something something about terrorism and keeping an eye on the world.

Dude...wake up. YEs they claim they are only trying to monitor people outside the US, but they are monitoring things that transpire between inside and outside USA. Which means everyone is potentially a target including you.

Just remember this fact bro. Hailias Corpas is gone. If the feds think you are a terrorists, even with no proof; they can lock you up indefinitely with no right to a lawyer, a court and without even charging you with a crime.

So the US can drag me out of my home in Holland, lock me up without trial and a lawyer indefinitely?
Really? Haha, you might need a better tinfoil hat there.

It's definitely not a fabrication. James Clapper indirectly confirmed it's about a real, leaked top secret document as he said: "The unauthorized disclosure of a top secret U.S. court document threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation".

http://bigstory.ap.org/article...f-blasts-nsa-document-leaks

It's also a remarkable leak. You usually don't simply leak documents from the NSA. Especially not those as recent as from April this year.

WP has updated their story to no longer claim that these companies have been aware of the monitoring of these services though.

No, that's the old using quotes out of context trick. They're also mixing the call records collection, which is true, with this to try to mislead even more. It's all just trying to make money off of hype.

HAHAHA. Yeah right. You guys talk big but in the end no one will do anything about it about and this nonsense will continue. The common, everyday American doesn't even understand what this means.
If you actually DID something about it, the rest of the world would thank you....but you won't.

Revolutions are fought by single digit numbers...but the silent support is crucial. Let me be the first call COMPLETE BS on Microsoft for saying they have no "direct" involvement, well I PROMISE you there is involvement. It's insulting to even hear this crap from them. NOTHING you do is private any longer, hasn't been for a while, the illusion of freedom and democracy is ending, you know what comes next. An apology is in order from many towards conspiracy theorists (no longer a theory), preppers and all those the tried to tell you this was going on...now ask yourself why is it going on, terrorists? laughable.

Why do you reckon the DHS has been amassing billions of rounds of ammo and drones and tanks and who knows what other hardware for years ?

They know people will eventually get angry enough to do something about things and they are prepared.

Its the perfect storm of a destroyed (global) economy, no jobs, lies, corruption, spying on its own citizens, "legal" drone attacks against its own citizens etc... - the list goes on.

As Hahaiah says, an apology is most definitely in order towards those that many have labelled nut jobs, conspiracy wackos, paranoid loons and worse - simply for recognising the signs much earlier and tried to warn the rest out of a sense of care for others.

Will that happen, well lets just say I reckon Satan himself will be skating to work before the apology comes.

Well in the context of my post "They" refers to the Department of Homeland Security, however taken to a much wider context it refers to elements of both the visible and invisible government that have an agenda to completely erode the freedoms and rights of every citizen for the purposes of ultimate power and control.

Hence all of the releases from the FBI in the past year with "helpful hints" on how to spot potential terrorists - ( a word so weakened by government policies around the world twisting the definition to mean whatever they want it to mean at the time they use it), as well as countless swathes of other legislation (eg the Patriot Act) which are utterly despicable.

Even when it's directly in your face, you deny it, pathetic. Anyone with a half a brain can figure out this is all about controlling the people, and this is an awesome tool to help them do it. You learn every single day about corrupt government elements doing unbelievably horrible and dishonest things, they write articles, books, make friggin movies about it all and when faced with the reality that it actually exists on some level, you try to mock others for your own ignorance. People like you are the reason these criminals have gotten this far, you enable them through your hard headed cowardice.

ahhell said,
HAHAHA. Yeah right. You guys talk big but in the end no one will do anything about it about and this nonsense will continue. The common, everyday American doesn't even understand what this means.
If you actually DID something about it, the rest of the world would thank you....but you won't.

As an American... I completely agree with you.

Myself along with a small group of friend are always keeping up on topics such as these. The rest of our friends, families, and coworkers can't be bothered to stand up for themselves and everyone around them.

MidTxWRX said,

As an American... I completely agree with you.

Myself along with a small group of friend are always keeping up on topics such as these. The rest of our friends, families, and coworkers can't be bothered to stand up for themselves and everyone around them.

Keeping up on topics, discussing, complaining, worrying, and speculating is a lot different than actually doing something and standing up for yourself or anyone around you.

If cocking a gun is your revolution, then it's failed before it's started. The most significant changes that are brought about by the public are done through means such as protest and civil disobedience. If everyone stops going to work and starts standing in the streets that's when things begin to change.

thomastmc said,

Keeping up on topics, discussing, complaining, worrying, and speculating is a lot different than actually doing something and standing up for yourself or anyone around you.

If cocking a gun is your revolution, then it's failed before it's started. The most significant changes that are brought about by the public are done through means such as protest and civil disobedience. If everyone stops going to work and starts standing in the streets that's when things begin to change.

We tried this with Occupy Wall St, etc.

A large majority of the population saw them as dumb hippies that wanted to be supported by the government.