Chad’s Morning Brief: PRISM Revealed, New York Times Not Happy With Obama, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 7, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. PRISM (link)
Verizon was just the tip of the iceberg friends. Yesterday it was reveled that the National Security Agency has had access to the servers of the largest tech giants since as far back as 2007. The program has been top secret, until now.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.
In a statement, Google said: "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data."
Several senior tech executives insisted that they had no knowledge of PRISM or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a program. "If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge," one said.
An Apple spokesman said it had "never heard" of PRISM.
The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012.
The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.
It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.
Disclosure of the PRISM program follows a leak to the Guardian on Wednesday of a top-secret court order compelling telecoms provider Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of US customers.
The participation of the internet companies in PRISM will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.
Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.
It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.
How's that most transparent government thing working out for you now?
2. NY Times Not Happy (link)
It seems as though the Editorial Board of the New York Times isn't happy with President Obama and the secrecy/lies coming from the administration. The final straw it seems was the story about the NSA collecting phone records of Verizon customers.
An editorial published late Thursday said the administration was using the "same platitude" it uses in every case of overreach -- that "terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us."
The editorial continued: "Those reassurances have never been persuasive -- whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency's phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism -- especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility."
The editorial board claimed Obama "is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it."
I'm not ready to call the love affair between the Times and Obama over, but it certainly isn't looking good. It's amazing how many liberals were shocked by yesterday's news.
3. Campus Bans Guns (link)
Attention those of you on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Instead of defending yourself with a gun, Arkansas says instead that you should defend yourself by nodding.
The scary thing about this is that the State of Texas almost did the exact same thing as Arkansas.
In lieu of guns, people who find themselves in dangerous situations at or near the University of Arkansas should defend themselves by glancing and nodding, said a university safety expert.
Earlier this year, the Arkansas legislature approved a concealed carry law, but gave school administrators permission to override the law and ban guns on campuses. Most Arkansas universities, including the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University, opted to prohibit concealed carry, according to The College Fix.
But disarmed faculty and staff members are vulnerable to attack when traveling to and from campus, according to a chain of emails sent between UA staff members, one of whom was assaulted by three teenagers on his way to class.
Sharon Houlette, a detective with the UA Department of Public Safety, responded to the thread with advice for avoiding being attacked, which included a suggestion to “glance or nod” at possible attackers.
“A glance or a nod will help you show anyone who might think that you are not paying attention, and you are aware of their presence,” she wrote.
She also suggested parking on campus and using the trolley system, and offered to host a crime prevention workshop.
Idiots. Now do you see why I was against the weak campus carry bill that allowed schools to opt-out?
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.