Report: Intelligence program gives U.S. government direct access to customer data on Apple servers; Apple denies

The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers are reporting on a top secret intelligence program that gives the U.S. National Security Agency direct access to user data on corporate servers across a wide spectrum of Internet companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple,” Jordan Golson reports for MacRumors.

“Apple reportedly joined the program in 2012, though Microsoft has been involved since 2007,” Golson reports. “It is unknown how or why Apple resisted joining the program for five years, nor why it decided to join in 2012. Twitter is noticeably absent from the list of companies, while Dropbox is said to be ‘coming soon.'”

Golson reports, “An Apple spokesperson gave this statement to AllThingsD: 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.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

36 Comments

    1. Do a little background reading, this is nothing new. Our government has been trending this way for a long time and the media largely ignores it as we get bread and circuses- celebutard news and political disinformation all over the place.

      For starters, look up these programs:
      Total Information Awareness
      Carnivore

      Meanwhile, the Supremes ruled that it is OK for the police to collect your DNA without a warrant and you have no legal recourse or expectation of privacy. For your DNA. Any time a cop decides to stop you- not just when booked. All the people who cry about big brother government should be up in arms over this shit.

    2. Well, you know the government has to lie about what they’re doing. You don’t expect the government to acknowledge that the newspapers are telling the truth do you? Same goes for Apple, you don’t expect them to the knowledge that they have given the government the information they require. Do you? Don’t be so naïve.

      1. No. I expect that when Apple says they are not sharing information with the Government without a court order that I should be able to take it at face value. And if they were doing this I would expect them to be silent.

        This is something altogether more serious than Steve Jobs misdirecting competitors about future products.

        1. Yes, I believe that Apple, Google, Microsoft, PayPal and all the others do so only after receiving a court order. Apple is no different than any of the others. The government shows up with a court order. They know that the company then has to give in but the company can always say we did it under a court order. Standard procedure. The companies don’t have any choice.

  1. This is Tim Cook’s doing. Steve was the reason Apple hadn’t signed up before. Cook was targeted afterwards, and has caved. First to the U.S. government, and most recently to the Chinese.

    Folks, when in the past you’ve seen stories where the U.S. govt or courts, or the Chinese govt. or courts, or the E.U. govt or courts seem to be taking inexplicable stances against Apple (‘warranty claims’, ‘ebook pricing’, etc…) that just don’t seem to make any real sense, or watched Apple’s stock get hammered by Wall Street (the U.S. govt’s Special Forces in the world of finance) seemingly out of nowhere, HERE is the real story as to why. When these entities can’t get what they want out of a company, they punish it in every other way they can. They keep up the pressure until they get what they want, using any and all means short of violence (and if this were a Third World government or corporation we were talking about, they’d use that too). Because most corporations the world over are led by feckless CEOs & boards, concerned only about the bottom line & their stock options, these methods are highly effective.

    But, every once in a while, they come up against a person they can’t cow, can’t even predict what this person will do. Maybe even this person manages to make their company so strong that in real terms they are effectively untouchable – like say by developing a $100b war chest based on the most popular products on the planet. A person like that with principals that won’t allow them to play their riendeer games is their worst night mare.

    That’s who Steve was. He held the line, against the state and for the individual. It’s who Tim is not. He has sold us out, world wide.

    1. You’re delusional. No one running a company wants the government stepping in and gathering up information. No one. According to what I have read, Google held out as long as possible. Yes, evil Google. Tim Cook and Steve Jobs could have both said no but eventually would have to cave in. Steve Jobs was no different than anyone else running a company in that respect. When big brother wants your information they will get it.

      1. Companies get access to markets that are ultimately controlled by governments. We do not live in a stateless world. States set the rules. States have direct police powers that, so far, corporations do not (unless you live in Detroit), and those powers are what hold sway when all else is said and done.

        Whether someone running a company wants this intrusion is not material to whether the intrusion will occur, or how. Google did hold out for awhile against the Chinese back in the early ‘aughts, but they did cave. Every other company doing business there took note, because at that time if their was one company that could have held out it was Google. They wanted money more than they wanted to protect Chinese citizens who wanted to find out more about the Tiananmen Square massacre. It really is that simple.

        This is how the world works. It has always been like this in the shadows, but now it’s becoming more blatant, less hidden – probably an indicator of how far down the hole we all are, and how little the perpetrators fear the consequences of discovery. If you don’t believe it, that’s your prerogative, but it is you my friend who are being delusional.

        1. Apparently you can’t read. Apparently you don’t understand English. You simply repeat what I say. With the addition of trying to blame Google rather than acknowledging that Apple and all other companies acquiesce to government pressure. I guess you’re just a fanboy. And by the way, Google pulled out of China rather than give them to China. They lost money. Whatever you do don’t let the facts get in your way. Fanboy.

          1. Where does one begin …

            Google did not pull out of China. If you can’t even get that right, you need a time out.

            A “fanboy” is someone who is completely uncritical of whatever it is they are a fan of. In this case I assume you mean to say I’m an Apple fanboy, yet the whole point of my post was to criticize the company’s actions in this matter. You seem have a problem not only with basic facts, but also with basic concepts. Strike two.

            Last, I’m actually not repeating you – I’m acknowledging the one part of your comment that was correct, then trying to help you understand how it fits into the bigger picture. That picture is this: governments the world over are pressuring relevant corporations into becoming arms of their surveillance operations against people. Those corporations can resist, should resist, and Apple under Steve Jobs did resist – successfully. But most do not, because their greed – personal, institutional, whichever you prefer to emphasize – is stronger than their sense of right and wrong. Apple under Cook has fallen into that category.

            I can’t make it any clearer. Good luck.

    2. the last true american tycoon to take on the government was howard hughes, if the scenes depicting his senate appearance in, ‘the aviator’ are to be believed. of course, nowadays, most of the sub-rosa demons have been emboldened to ditch their cloaks and to take off their masks.

      pity! God truly had blessed america.

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