NSA claims that technology firms are aware of its data collection

If you ask technology leaders like Apple or Google, the NSA has been snooping on their customers without permission. However, the NSA has a very different story. Agency general counsel Rajesh De tells an oversight board that these companies are fully aware of and assisting data collection under the PRISM surveillance program, whether it targets servers or internet traffic. There's a "compulsory legal process" for the firms involved, the attorney says. If accurate, the statement at least partly contradicts repeated claims from these companies that the NSA leaves them in the dark. With that said, it's still possible for both sides to be right. Leaks from last June suggest that company staff handling these government requests are required to keep the details secret, even when speaking to coworkers -- higher-ups won't necessarily hear about cooperation with the intelligence community.