The Guardian newspaper made headlines yesterday for a story claiming the tech companies were not entirely truthful about their knowledge of National Security Agency spying. News outlets quickly picked up the accusations from NSA General Counsel Rajesh De that tech companies had “full knowledge” of the controversial surveillance of their users. From the beginning of the NSA scandal last summer, tech companies have furiously denied that the NSA had direct access to their data.
Firms including Google, Yahoo and Facebook have been accused by a senior official at the National Security Agency (NSA) of knowing about government data collection, having previously denied any knowledge. Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all data gathered from technology firms occurred within the law and with the knowledge of the companies. Speaking at a hearing of the US government’s institutional watchdog, De explained that the Prism data collection programme occurred under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. “Prism was an internal government term that as the result of leaks became the public term,” De said. “Collection under this program was a compulsory legal process, that any recipient company would receive.”