There's a bombshell report tonight that nine leading tech companies are knowingly giving information on users to the U.S. Government
The program is called PRISM and it reportedly involved Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have all come out to deny participation in the program.
We have each of their statements here.
A spokesperson for Apple emphatically denied that it is handing over user information telling us: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order."
Here's the statement from Facebook: "We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law,."
And here's Google's statement, given to AllThingsD: "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door' for the government to access private user data."
Microsoft spokesperson: "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."
The PRISM program allegedly allowed the NSA and FBI to tap directly into the central servers of the companies. From there, they could get user photos, emails, documents and more. This was all done in cooperation with big tech companies, according to the report.
However, the tech companies are now responding. We'll be covering this story as it unfolds and updating with any more information we come up with.