Greenwald: We never claimed “direct access” was true

Glenn Greenwald continues to spin his Guardian PRISM overreach
Media • Views: 24,079

Today, in his regular “On Security and Liberty” Guardian column, Glenn Greenwald sought to address some of the criticisms of his PRISM reporting. As when asked about his “direct access” claims in a recent interview, Greenwald again framed his PRISM story as not being about details of any actual program, but instead, as being about the discrepancy between his read on the leaked PowerPoint slides and the denials from internet companies (and the government).

Here’s the relevant part of Greenwald’s new column:

On PRISM, partisanship and propaganda

The Guardian has not revised any of our articles and, to my knowledge, has no intention to do so. That’s because we did not claim that the NSA document alleging direct collection from the servers was true; we reported - accurately - that the NSA document claims that the program allows direct collection from the companies’ servers. Before publishing, we went to the internet companies named in the documents and asked about these claims. When they denied it, we purposely presented the story as one of a major discrepancy between what the NSA document claims and what the internet companies claim, as the headline itself makes indisputably clear:

The NSA document says exactly what we reported. Just read it and judge for yourself (PRISM is “collection directly from the servers of these US service providers”). It’s endearingly naive how some people seem to think that because government officials or corporate executives issue carefully crafted denials, this resolves the matter.

As a reminder, here are some of the most explosive allegations found in Greenwald’s original PRISM article:

NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others

The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information.

Companies are legally obliged to comply with requests for users’ communications under US law, but the Prism program allows the intelligence services direct access to the companies’ servers. The NSA document notes the operations have “assistance of communications providers in the US”.

When the FAA was first enacted, defenders of the statute argued that a significant check on abuse would be the NSA’s inability to obtain electronic communications without the consent of the telecom and internet companies that control the data. But the Prism program renders that consent unnecessary, as it allows the agency to directly and unilaterally seize the communications off the companies’ servers.

The Prism program allows the NSA, the world’s largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders.

With this program, the NSA is able to reach directly into the servers of the participating companies and obtain both stored communications as well as perform real-time collection on targeted users.

UPDATE at 6/14/13 6:24:26 pm by Charles Johnson

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-09-11 10:11 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Three Dead, More Than 20 Injured in Shootings, Stabbings in Israel - NBC News
At least three people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a series of stabbing and shooting attacks in Israel on Tuesday, officials said. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on the Israeli government to "immediately implement drastic ...

1 hour, 16 minutes ago
Views: 55 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Iran: trial of a prisoner of conscience for a hand shake
By: Keyvan SalamiIranian misogynic regime has arbitrarily sent Atena Farghadani, a young caricaturist, to court on October 3 to issue another verdict against her and bring her under added pressure.Entangled with crisis within the government as Iran deal aftermaths and ...

2 hours, 58 minutes ago
Views: 77 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
Biden, Ryan Face Decisions That Could Shape Politics for Years to Come
Mark HalperinBloomberg NewsOctober 12, 2015 Former rivals Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan are facing looming decisions that will help shape the future of American politics. Neither Ryan, who is being pressured to run for House speaker, ...

4 hours, 25 minutes ago
Views: 71 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Florida Man Reports Dead Body by Reinacting Hamlet
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.. Shoppers at a Publix in Sebastian, Florida, called 911 Tuesday afternoon after spotting a homeless man carrying around an actual human skull. "He was using it as a puppet," said witness Nick Pecoraro ...

8 hours, 10 minutes ago
Views: 169 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 1
Alltime10s - 10 True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity (Video)
Just thought I'd post something to cheer you guys up for a change. The world isn't all bad, thankfully. The youtube channel Alltime10s ( Its a channel that specializes in top ten lists as you might have guessed ) has ...

9 hours, 35 minutes ago
Views: 117 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
The Chains of Mental Illness in West Africa - the New York Times
Troubled Minds, Shackled BodiesThis series examines the struggle to care for people with mental illness in places where psychiatry is virtually unknown. PART I: THE CHAINS OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN WEST AFRICA KPOVÉ, Togo -- The church grounds here sprawled ...

17 hours, 8 minutes ago
Views: 157 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
John Vreeland
Crowd of Football Fans in Dallas Egg On Shooter
Things to note: This was a weakly enforced gun-free zone. The story was put together from a few short reports. Alas there is no video. (Are fights at tailgate parties common?) So much for that "polite society" BS More cowbell: ...

17 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 236 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
William Lewis
Happy Birthday John Lennon
And now for something completely different... Today, Oct 9, 2015 would have been his 75th birthday. Thanks for the music, John.

3 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 361 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Great White Snark
How Iranian General Plotted Out Syrian Assault in Moscow
At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's ...

5 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 641 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 18 • Rating: 1
Paul Canning
World’s Main Security Issue Today Is Russian Poisoned Public Opinion
I have posted before about how Americans seem to be unaware just how much Russians are being told to hate them. In this article Andreas Umland, a Kyiv based analyst and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic ...

1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 1,097 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 6 • Rating: 2