LIVE: Why PRISM is Just the First of Many Private User Data Balls to Drop

On today’s SiliconANGLE Live NewsDesk Show, (see live feed below or visit to watch on-demand), we learn about the government spying program PRISM where it was reported that Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and soon Dropbox were participants.

According to the Washington Post, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, AOL and PalTalk are all knowing participants of PRISM. Dropbox is reportedly expected to join soon. User’s personal data and the level of its protection on the company server-side is a growing debate — and one that will only get bigger. Immediately following the news though, all of the companies released statements to the effect of calling the report “bogus”.

Microsoft released an official statement:

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.

Yahoo sent the same general denial.

Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network

Google issued a statement too.

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.”

Joining us now to tell us more about PRISM is SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto. (See the live broadcast, embed below ~ if you missed today’s topic, check our YouTube channel for archived clips.)

Some of the things we’ll be discussing with Casaretto include the government’s goals with PRISM, the reasons why this is a controversial initiative, whether or not the government can ask for your personal data “whenever it wants”, and the legitimacy of the known participants’ denial statements.