“Whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday said companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. had an ‘ethical obligation’” not to cooperate with the National Security Agency data-gathering program, arguing that the tech giants had enough clout to resist the agency,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch.

“Snowden, a former government contractor who leaked classified NSA documents related to a secret data-gathering program, took part in a live chat through the Guardian newspaper, which broke the story about the spying scandal,” Pimentel reports. “‘As a result of these disclosures and the clout of these companies, we’re finally beginning to see more transparency and better details about these programs for the first time since their inception,’ he said. He noted that the big tech companies were ‘legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program.'”

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Pimentel reports, “But he also suggested the companies had enough clout to resist. ‘If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?’ he asked.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack

According to The Guardian, companies began providing data to the NSA’s PRISM program as early as 2007. See this accompanying godawful image:

NSA PRISM Program data provider dates

(Image source: The Guardian)

Unsurprisingly, ’twas The Borg that jumped on board first on September 11, 2007. Apple, it seems, held out all the way until October 2012.

Hmm, wonder why? What changed at Apple between September 2007 when Microsoft began providing data to PRISM and October 2012 when Apple joined up?

Superficially, at least, the major difference at Apple was that Steve Jobs was no longer running the company.

Did Steve Jobs tell the NSA spooks to go pound sand while Tim Cook folded like a cheap suit right around the one year anniversary of Steve’s untimely death?

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.