Yes, tech companies accommodated NSA snooping.
New York Times: When government officials came to Silicon Valley to demand easier ways for the world’s largest Internet companies to turn over user data as part of a secret surveillance program, the companies bristled. In the end, though, many cooperated at least a bit.
Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations. They opened discussions with national security officials about developing technical methods to more efficiently and securely share the personal data of foreign users in response to lawful government requests. And in some cases, they changed their computer systems to do so.
The negotiations shed a light on how Internet companies, increasingly at the center of people’s personal lives, interact with the spy agencies that look to their vast trove of information — e-mails, videos, online chats, photos and search queries — for intelligence. They illustrate how intricately the government and tech companies work together, and the depth of their behind-the-scenes transactions.
The companies that negotiated with the government include Google, which owns YouTube; Microsoft, which owns Hotmail and Skype; Yahoo; Facebook; AOL; Apple; and Paltalk, according to one of the people briefed on the discussions. The companies were legally required to share the data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. People briefed on the discussions spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited by law from discussing the content of FISA requests or even acknowledging their existence.
In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.
Good on Twitter, huh?
The denials of these tech giants are beginning to look a little dishonest, due to the selectiveness of what they deny. For example, Mark Zuckerberg has a Facebook post up denying he gave the government “direct access” to Facebook servers — without mentioning the “secure portals” NYT reports. These would not strictly be “direct access.” He also says, “We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.” The guys who landed at Normandy had never heard of Operation Overlord, either — despite being right in the middle of it. So what? The name of the program was on a need-to-know basis and tech companies didn’t need to know.
But if the companies were legally required to hand over the information, why the smokescreens and selective denials?
“While handing over data in response to a legitimate FISA request is a legal requirement, making it easier for the government to get the information is not, which is why Twitter could decline to do so,” the Times reports.
Yeah, that would explain it.
On the left side, you see the “bids” that are in the market for the stock. Those are the offers to buy. On the right you see the “asks”, which are asking prices by sellers. Note that next to each bid or ask there’s a “size” which is the size of the offer to buy or sell. Note two things: At the top of the left column, you see lots of bids at $38.00 on various trading platforms. (The BATS exchange, Arca, etc.). What’s more, the size of those bids are HUGE. Hundreds of thousands of shares compared to relatively tiny asks and bids everywhere else.
Should be interesting to see if they’ll still be there to save $FB on Monday.
News Roundup for 10/10/11
-Headline of the Day-
"Poll: Half the country has heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests."
CNN is out with a good news/bad news poll. The good news is “roughly half” (51%) of the people CNN polled were aware of the Occupy Wall Street protests and the bad news is that, of them, 54% don’t have an opinion about them either way. But the bad news breaks down further as good bad news for the 99-percenters and bad bad news for the people backing the suits. CNN reports that “27% say they agree with the movement’s overall position on the financial system and social change, with 19% saying disagree with Occupy Wall Street on those issues.”
In better news for the 99-percenters, Occupy Wall Street is winning the internet by an extremely wide margin. “Those who use social media were more likely to support the goals of the movement, with a full third of those respondents saying they agreed with the group’s overall position,” reports The Hill. “Only 14 percent of social media users said they did not support the protesters.”
It’s a start. Occupy Facebook! (CNN)
-GOP consistency on display-
Click to embiggen
No comment needed, I guess. (DailyKos)
"Almost Twice As Many People Have Heard of Occupy Wall Street As Rick Perry."
Or, “Fun With Mix-and-Match Polling.” (Wonkette)
Stories to Watch: 10/4/11
It’s cool enough now that I feel I can use the oven more, so I’m back to baking sourdough bread. I still don’t have it done as much as I do pitas and pancakes, though. I’ve been using a bread machine to knead it (you can’t bake it in there, though) and I’m thinking it doesn’t work the gluten well enough. The next time I try, I’ll do a windowpane test and, if it needs more work, do additional kneading myself. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board. Now here’s the news…
Ezra Klein has a great post up about Occupy Wall Street and the 99-percenters. TLDR; the movement matters and this blog helped convince him of that. “They’re small stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it,” he writes. “Or, worse, they have tens of thousands in debt to show for it.” Follow it, repost the photos if you’re on Tumblr, share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. etc. — just get them out there.
If you want a good place to check for Occupy Wall Street news, Greg Mitchell would be a fine choice.
The protests have the corporate world worried. Rightwing media begins its attack, while at least one suit wonders, “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”
Is it over for The Simpsons?
Now that Christie’s out, the right is back to searching for a viable candidate. Fortunately for dems, they’re doing it wrong.
A GOP Rep. really puts Grover Norquist through the ringer.
Finally, a definition of tone-freakin’-deaf: while people mob Wall Street protesting — among other things — unfair banking practices, the Obama administration sides with debt collectors.