Even the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, found Obama administration’s
Orwellian surveillance strategy “deeply concerning.”
The Guardian reported:
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has released a statement about Prism on behalf of the World Wide Web Foundation.
Calling Prism “deeply concerning,” Berners-Lee asks Web users to “demand better legal protection.” Here is the statement in full:
“Today’s revelations are deeply concerning. Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society.
“I call on all Web users to demand better legal protection and due process safeguards for the privacy of their online communications, including their right to be informed when someone requests or stores their data. Over the last two decades, the Web has become an integral part of our lives. A trace of our use of it can reveal very intimate personal things. A store of this information about each person is a huge liability: Whom would you trust to decide when to access it, or even to keep it secure?”
It had been revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been gathering phone call metadata and internet information from American citizens.
Gizmodo summarized Obama quotes that indicate the U.S. President “is totally cool with your privacy being shot to smithereens without your knowing for the last, say, six years.”
- “Every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”
- “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress and repeatedly authorized by Congress.”
- “These are programs that have been authorized by broad bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006.”
- “You can’t have 100-percent security and then have 100-percent privacy.”
- “I don’t welcome leaks, there’s a reason these programs are classified.”
- “There are some tradeoffs involved.”
- “Modest encroachments on privacy.”
- “Your duly elected representatives have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing.”
To assuage fears over his regime’s data-gathering operations, Obama announced during a press conference that PRISM “does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living the United States”.
Speaking in response to the leaks, the U.S. President said he does not welcome them: ”there’s a reason why these programs are classified. I think there’s a suggestion that somehow, any classified program is a quote-unquote secret program which means that it’s somehow suspicious. But the fact of the matter is, in our modern history, there’s been a whole range of programs that have been classified.”
Obama also clarified reports that the U.S. government has collected a record on every phone call made in the United States:
When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That is not what this program is about.
As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is, looking at those numbers, and durations of calls. They are not looking at people’s names and they’re not looking at content. But, by sifting through this so-called metadata they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism.
What Is PRISM?
Here’s a report from Gizmodo:
PRISM is a secret government program…
As much as PRISM might sound like a comic book antagonist of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s the codename for a very real US government program. According to leaked documents, it went into effect in 2007, and has only gained momentum since. Its stated purpose is to monitor potentially valuable foreign communications that might pass through US servers, but it appears that in practice its scope was far greater.