The mounting national debt? Yeah, you're probably better off just ignoring why exactly it's mounting. The Guardian is continuing the blow the lid off of the whole NSA / PRISM saga, today revealing new documents that detail how the NSA paid out "millions" of dollars to cover PRISM compliance costs for a multitude of monolithic tech outfits. As the story goes, the National Security Agency (hence, tax dollars from American taxpayers) coughed up millions "to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the PRISM surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency's activities were unconstitutional." The likes of Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are expressly named, and while Google is still angling for permission to reveal more about its side of the story, other firms have conflicting tales.
For whatever it's worth, a Yahoo spokesperson seemed a-okay with the whole ordeal, casually noting that this type of behavior is perfectly legal: "Federal law requires the US government to reimburse providers for costs incurred to respond to compulsory legal process imposed by the government. We have requested reimbursement consistent with this law." Meanwhile, Facebook stated that it had "never received any compensation in connection with responding to a government data request." Microsoft, as you might imagine, declined to comment, though we heard that Steve Ballmer could be seen in the distance throwing up a peace sign. At any rate, it's fairly safe to assume that your worst nightmares are indeed a reality, and you may have a far more enjoyable weekend if you just accept the fact that The Man knows everything. Better, right?
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Dec 5th 2013 12:33AM
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