updated 10:57 am EDT, Fri June 7, 2013
Leaked documents allegedly cover PRISM, supporting systems
More documents allegedly related to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its data harvesting activities has surfaced, courtesy of hacking collective Anonymous. The group released a total of 13 documents that it claims "prove that the NSA is spying on you," and that its spying activities are not just covering Americans, but also people in over 35 different countries.
The documents are accompanied by a statement from Anonymous, which highlights an initiative called GiG, along with PRISM, reports Gizmodo. GiG is explained as a secure "data sharing environment for the Department" which will allow various entities to "share knowledge on a global network that facilitates information superiority, accelerates decision-making, effective operations, and Net-Centric transformation." This could be interpreted as the US sharing data on citizens to similar security organizations in other countries.
While most of the documents relate to PRISM and supporting system, some items seemingly appear unrelated, such as one about how to receive and maintain a security clearance, and another contains a list of personal details, along with logs of requests to remove details from the list due to being wrongly identified as "spies." The age of the files vary considerably, with some dating as far back as 2005, well before PRISM allegedly started collecting data from tech companies.
Shortly after the initial reveal by UK newspaper The Guardian and other subsequent leaks, the technology companies that are said to be the subject of these PRISM requests have spoken out against the claims. Companies including Microsoft, Skype, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, and Apple have all denied that the government is gaining access to their servers.
Government figures have also spoke against the reports, with US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) calling the Verizon data collection as "defending America." Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper claimed that the initial reports had "numerous inaccuracies," that the information collected is "among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect," and that revealing the program is "reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans."