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Leak reveals GMail, Facebook, Skype & others give US spies unfettered access to ‘foreign’ data

US security agencies have direct access to non-US-based users’ data on internet services run by companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Microsoft, Apple and others, according to a secret document leaked to the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

Under the surveillance programme dubbed PRISM, nine US internet companies voluntarily agreed up to six years ago to grant the National Security Agency (NSA) direct access to their systems, allowing them to read emails, messages, internet phone calls and other private data involving non-US-based ‘targets’.

A number of companies have denied to the newspapers that they had knowledge of a warrantless surveillance programme such as PRISM, as civil rights activists have strongly condemned the alleged operation and several US politicians have criticised a lack of transparency in its security services’ powers.

Read more:
- Guardian article
- Washington Post article
- EFF timeline and more background on US surveillance
- Recent blog post on Legally India collating information about surveillance laws in India

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