Saturday, March 22, 2014

US tech giants knew of NSA data collection, agency's top lawyer insists

Spencer Ackerman in Washington  -  theguardian.com  -  Wednesday 19 March 2014

NSA general counsel Rajesh De says big tech companies like Yahoo and Google provided ‘full assistance’ in legally mandated collection of data.

The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data.

Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies – both for the internet collection program known as Prism and for the so-called “upstream” collection of communications moving across the internet.

Asked during a Wednesday hearing of the US government’s institutional privacy watchdog if collection under the law, known as Section 702 or the Fisa Amendments Act, occurred with the “full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained,” De replied: “Yes.”

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