Prism global surveillance machine: how the United States destroyed the freedom in the world
Material posted: Publication date: 11-06-2013

On Sunday evening, June 9, 2013 British Guardian published an article that the next morning, blasted the world's media.(1) Was given as the name of the employee secret service, the U.S. national security Agency (National Security Agency - NSA), and concurrently, the CIA and 29-year-old Edward Snowden, who had previously publicly disclosed the top-secret material about the total program of electronic surveillance of foreigners and potentially all citizens of the United States called Prism.

"He's quiet, intelligent, calm and modest. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when he spoke about the technical side of surveillance... But he shows passion when it comes to the values of private life, which, as he said, now gradually fading due to the behavior of intelligence agencies," the Guardian writes about him. The existence of Snowden confirmed interview with him published in the pages of this publication. In evidence of its status as Snowden showed to the correspondent of the Guardian social security card ID from the CIA and his old diplomatic passport. Company Booz Allen Hamilton, where Snowden worked undercover, has said that he has committed a gross violation by passing the media secret information. The name Snowden has been called the world in the Guardian on his own accord.

Currently he is hiding in one of the hotels in Hong Kong, where he arrived on 20 may 2013. Snowden somehow believes that Hong Kong remains the place where "strong tradition of free speech" and there is "the right of political dissent".

As it has now become clear, that Snowden gave information to the Guardian and Washington Post, which reported last week that U.S. intelligence agencies gained access to data about millions of phone calls and servers of major Internet companies. This is a continuation of the scandal, which began publication in the USA information on fixing the special services of telephone conversations of journalists from influential news Agency Assosiated Press (AP).

In continuation of the scandal last week on Wednesday 5 June 2013, the British Guardian reported that the secret court had ordered phone company Verizon has handed over data on millions of phone calls of NSA. Secret telephone conversations protected by the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unwarranted surveillance. However, this limitation does not apply to information possessed by a third party, in particular, the telephone company. This means that the data about time and duration of telephone conversations can be monitored by the U.S. authorities.

But here it has acquired a new turn. The next day, i.e. 6 June 2013, the Washington Post published an article about the top secret us intelligence programme called Prism (prism).(2) at the same time about the Prism article was published by Glenn Greenwald in the British Guardian.(3) due to the difference in time she dated 7 June 2013.

Source for information about the program Prism was made in a PowerPoint presentation from the NSA 41st slide titled "overview of the Prism/US-984XN" under a signature stamp "top secret", dated April 2013. Apparently, the presentation was used at training or informing employees of American intelligence services. The Prism is characterized in the presentation as "one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses for NSA". Director of the Center for American Union for civil liberties and democracy Jameel Jaffer believes that the Prism program mean that the U.S. armed forces, including the NSA, were given unprecedented access to civilian communications, and this is unprecedented militarization of domestic communications infrastructure in the United States. The information published in the Washington Post and Guardian reduces to the following provisions:

  • the Prism program started in 2007 by order of President George W. Bush through a secret change in the law on access to personal data. In December 2012, President Obama re-authorized the continuation of the Prism program;
  • the action of the Prism program based on the Law on the control of activities of foreign intelligence services (FISA) and the Act on the protection of America (Protect America Act - PAA), which allow to conduct surveillance of foreign nationals outside the United States without a court order. Under the law, Internet companies in the USA are obliged to comply with requests of special services in accordance with U.S. law, but the Prism program allows the intelligence services direct access to companies ' servers. Potentially they can gather personal information on U.S. citizens;
  • the cost of the Prism program is about $20 billion a year;
  • FBI acts as an intermediary between intelligence agencies and technology companies in start-up and operation of the Prism program. The Prism program is total, because it appears like the largest manufacturer of computer technology Corporation Dell;
  • in accordance with the program Prism of American intelligence agencies FBI and the NBA have access to the Central servers of nine leading Internet companies: Microsoft (since 2007), Yahoo (2008), Google, Facebook, PalTalk (2009) YouTube (2010) AOL, Skype, (both since 2011) and Apple (2012) to extract audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, sent files, documents, connection, logins, search histories, personal data of the users of social networks. In a given list there is no Twitter;
  • the Prism program is the first of its kind, which is used to analyze information in a global social network Google and Facebook;
  • secret court approved programme Prism is focused on foreign communications traffic, which often passes through U.S. servers even when sent from one place abroad to another place;
  • in response to the request of the Washington Post Google, Facebook and Apple have denied the involvement of their companies in the program of Prism and claimed that they knew nothing about its existence. Microsoft also released a special statement denying his connection with NSA's Prism program. Microsoft's corporate slogan is "Your privacy is our priority". Currently none of the entities appearing in the document, has not confirmed his involvement in ongoing intelligence operations. According to their reputation in the world suffered a severe blow;
  • during the work the Prism program, US intelligence agencies provided 77 thousand reports prepared on its basis. How many phone calls or emails had been intercepted under the Prism program remains a mystery to US congressmen.

Several members of Congress protested, noting that he knew nothing about the Prism. On Friday 7 June, President Obama delivered a defense of the special surveillance programs, stating that it is a slight invasion of privacy required to protect citizens from terrorist attacks.

On Saturday 8 June 2013, Director of National intelligence James Clapper in an interview NBCпризнался that the U.S. government really get data about users of Internet companies. However, according to him, this only applies to non Americans. Clapper said that the leaks about the Prism seriously harm U.S. security and affect the safety of citizens. Clapper said: "I hope we will be able to determine who does it." And here it is after that followed by grateful Guardian interview of Snowden, the media and transmitted top-secret material about Prism.

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In a published interview with the Guardian said the main motive of actions of Edward Snowden, who said: "If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and would become very rich", but "I don't want to live in a society where things like this happen. I don't want to live in a world where everything I do is recorded". Answering the question about his future, Snowden admitted that he doesn't expect anything good for himself. He hopes to obtain asylum in Iceland, passing by mistake in the USA advocate only "best" in the world, including, and freedom on the Internet. However, the Ambassador of Iceland in Hong Kong has already made a statement that a request for asylum in his country can turn to, being on its territory.

In an interview with the Guardian Snowden said: "I have no intention to hide who I am, because I believe that I did nothing wrong". Guardian compares the action of the Snowden case Daniel Ellsberg - employee of the Rand Corporation, published in 1971 secret documents about the Vietnam war, and convicted currently in the U.S. Bradley manning - the serviceman of the U.S. army who donated a large amount of secret documents about the war in Iraq to WikiLeaks. Judging by published interviews, Snowden acted for moral reasons, when betrayed the secrets of the Prism. He said: "My sole motive is to inform the public about what was being done on his behalf and what was being done against him." Snowden, in his words, had a very comfortable life.

His salary was $200 thousand per year. He had a stable career, a house in Hawaii and a friend. From all this he deliberately refused. "I am ready to sacrifice everything, because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties of people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they secretly created," said Snowden to the Guardian reporter. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, three weeks ago he copied the last set of documents, which he intends to publish. This means that for the exposure of last week could lead to more.

Three weeks of stay at an amazing hotel in Hong Kong with Snowden, he said, only about three times left it on the wall. He is afraid of surveillance even in the room, suggesting the presence of hidden cameras.

He knows that he is wanted the most powerful government in the world and in search of the most skillful in the secret surveillance in the US - NSA. On TV, Snowden observed the day preceding all threats in his address, broadcast from Washington. "I think he was pleased that the debate that he wanted to provoke, finally became a reality," writes one who has watched his close correspondent of the Guardian. Now Snowden believes that the US could begin extradition proceedings against him. Snowden believes that he will be under investigation on charges of violation of the espionage act and aid to the enemies of the United States. According to the Guardian, the only time Snowden showed emotion during hours of interviews with him were his thoughts about possible problems for his family, many of whose members work for the U.S. government.

Snowden in the past was a technical employee of the CIA. The last four years, Snowden worked for the NSA, the number of firms in the contractors defense Department of the USA, first in Dell and others, and now at Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden is 29 years old. He is a native of North Carolina. Later his family moved to Maryland and settled near the headquarters of NSA at Fort Meade.

In 2003, Snowden enlisted in the U.S. army and began a training program for special forces. He wanted to take part in the liberation of the Iraqi people from oppression. However, his illusions are quickly dispelled. Once during one of his trainings he received fractures of both legs, he was dismissed from the army. After that he got his first job at the NSA facility at the University of Maryland as a security guard. From there he was sent to the CIA, where he began working in the field of IT security. His talent for computer programming and interest in the Internet has allowed it to quickly grow. In this case, note, even Snowden does not have a high school diploma. In 2007 he continued his service in the CIA under diplomatic cover at the U.S. mission in Geneva, Switzerland. The position is responsible for maintaining the security of local computer network gave him direct access to a large array of secret documents.

In Switzerland Snowden witnessed a case when by the provocations of the CIA had recruited one Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. "A lot of what I saw in Geneva, really disappoints me how my government operates, and how it affects the world," said Snowden in an interview, "I realized that I was part of something that brings much more harm than good." Already during his stay in Geneva, Snowden first thought about the possibility of exposing state secrets. But while he refused it for two reasons.

First, "most of the secrets the CIA go around people, not machines and systems, so I don't feel comfortable in the event of disclosure, which, as I thought I might endanger someone."

Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave Snowden the hope that there will be real reform, and his revelations will be unnecessary. In 2009 he moved from the CIA to the NSA in service in company a private contractor in the division who worked on an American military base in Japan. In the next three years he met with the pervasive activities of the NSA, which set out "to make every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them". Before that Snowden believed that the Internet is "the most important invention in all of human history." As a teenager, he spent days in "communicating with people with various opinions". Now Snowden believes that the value of the Internet, along with the basics of privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance". "I don't consider myself a hero," he said, "because what I do comes from my own interest: I don't want to live in a world where there is no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual discovery and creativity". Once Snowden came to the conclusion that the NSA surveillance soon will be continuous and irreversible. "What they do is an existential threat to democracy," he said. "The government has granted itself power that it has no rights. There is no public control".

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Publication of information on the Prism program has caused excitement in the communities of the countries-allies USA, where he suggested that U.S. intelligence services information obtained from the Prism project about the citizens of these countries, could transfer to cooperating intelligence services of allied countries. Here referred to the publication in the Guardian, in which it was alleged that the intelligence Agency GCHQ - the British counterpart to the American NSA, has gained access to servers of those companies, worked with their American colleagues. In this regard, particularly in an online community of Estonia has already started talking about a possible violation of the constitutional rights of Estonian citizens. In this situation, we should expect the request to the Estonian Parliament and within the Parliament in the special Committee of the Riigikogu for the supervision of security agencies. Such civil actions should be expected in other countries-allies of the United States.

The Snowden revelations became the largest leakage of information about the activities of the national security Agency (National Security Agency - NSA) for all time of existence of the organization.

But it is not yet complete. According to Snowden, he copied and selectively conveyed in the media many documents that have not yet been published. Now we are seeing dosed phased development of the scandal in the United States. If new publications of documents on the activities of the NSA will prove the falsity of the statements of President Barack Obama and the head of US National intelligence James Clapper, the U.S. could be supplied and the question of impeachment of the President. At least some disgruntled congressmen had already announced his ignorance of the Prism program.



(1) Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations //

(2) U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

(3) NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others //


Tags: innovation , USA , information war