Greenwald: We never claimed “direct access” was true

Glenn Greenwald continues to spin his Guardian PRISM overreach
Media • Views: 24,533

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 PageThis 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: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Thailand’s Military Allows ‘Culture of Torture’, Says Amnesty Thailand's military government has allowed a "culture of torture" to flourish since assuming power, says a new report by rights group Amnesty International. The report lists 74 alleged cases of torture and other ill-treatment, including methods such as beatings ...
Thanos
16 minutes ago
Views: 37 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Deutsche Bank Sells UK Asset and Battles Bailout Rumors Germany's biggest private lender has sold its British insurance business to raise urgently needed cash to pay looming penalties for its past misdeeds Deutsche Bank announced on Wednesday it had sold Abbey Life Assurance company for 935 million pounds ...
Thanos
30 minutes ago
Views: 62 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Shimon Peres, the Last of Israel’s Founding Leaders, Dies at 93 The last surviving leader of Israel's founding generation, Shimon Peres was a three-time prime minister, the architect of the country's secretive nuclear program and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to make peace with the ...
Thanos
33 minutes ago
Views: 54 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Nick Lowe-I Love the Sound of Breaking GlassNick LoweI Love the Sound of Breaking Glass (1978)
Thanos
19 hours, 19 minutes ago
Views: 101 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown at Nearly 1Tbps Driven by 150K Devices If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack ...
Thanos
21 hours ago
Views: 228 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Off-Duty Cop Who Killed Delrawn Small Indicted on Murder Charges A city cop was indicted Monday on second-degree murder charges in the road-rage shooting death of driver Delrawn Small, who was killed in a July 4 confrontation with the off-duty officer, sources said. The cop, Wayne Isaacs, will be ...
Thanos
21 hours, 4 minutes ago
Views: 248 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Bomb Blasts Strike Mosque, Congress Center in Germany City of Dresden BERLIN (Reuters) - Two improvised bombs exploded in the eastern German city of Dresden on Monday evening ― one at a mosque and one at an international conference center ― but no one was injured, police said on Tuesday. ...
Thanos
23 hours, 53 minutes ago
Views: 173 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Like 2016 Campaign, First Presidential Debate Defied Conventional Patterns Clinton suggested Trump was hiding something and said he may have paid no federal income tax at all. “That makes me smart,” Trump said. “So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for ...
Thanos
1 day ago
Views: 269 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Donald Trump Fell for Hillary Clinton’s Trap at Monday’s Presidential Debate The Clinton campaign’s greatest fear throughout the general election has been that some other Trump would emerge ― a more measured, reasonable and mature man, one who might look like he was ready for the Oval Office. That man ...
Thanos
1 day ago
Views: 361 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Factbox: Market Participants React to U.S. Presidential Debate JAMES ATHEY, INVESTMENT MANAGER AT ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT: "What we're seeing in markets this morning is a small, collective sigh of relief because most commentators, and the few polls that have been released, suggest Clinton won the debate. Equities ...
Thanos
1 day ago
Views: 322 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0