Two more developments in the widening domestic spying scandal.
The Associated Press (no stranger to surveillance) reported some two hours ago that the NSA metadata harvesting extends beyond Verizon to include all major American telephone carriers. The Huffington Post has been hosting the story under the headline “George W. Obama.”
And minutes ago The Washington Post broke a chilling story about a massive, secret program called PRISM created in 2007. USA Today initially raised the curtain on a massive wiretapping operation in 2006, triggering a major controversy over civil liberties and national security. From the Post:
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”
PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Dropbox, the cloud storage and synchronization service, is described as “coming soon.”
Government officials declined to comment for this story.
Barack Obama ran for President promising hope and change, going so far as to pledge his would be the most transparent administration in history. The revelations of the past 24 hours constitute an immense moral failure, one that drives a stake through the heart of this pretense. The last month and a half have seen the administration take a remarkable fall from grace.
Yet the developments keep coming and coming, begging the question: What will tomorrow bring?