The Times seems to think that everyone in Silicon Valley but Twitter fell over backwards to give the NSA access to their data:
In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.
Google in particular is pushing back hard on this one, with CEO Larry Paige, the chief legal counsel and the head of Google+ all issuing denials, though since those are mostly Google+ posts, nobody’s read them. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook also said that they “hadn’t even heard” of PRISM, but that’s because none of his Facebook friends had “liked” it or mentioned it in a status update.
If there’s one thing America can do other than blow shit up in the Middle East, it’s to convince people around the world to trust our tech companies to send their email, store pictures of their cats, and keep track of who their friends are. PRISM has altered that trust, and for what? What real information about any sophisticated terrorist operation will be gleaned from Google, Yahoo or Twitter? As Fallows points out, if we must snoop on these services, why not do it transparently?
Osama bin Laden is probably chucking in his watery grave over the fact that our over-the-top reaction to the 9/11 attacks is still bearing fruit almost a dozen years later.