Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed.
The documents, published last week by The Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.
While not conclusive, the material includes some clear suggestions that at least some American companies are quite willing to help the agency conduct its massive surveillance programs.
The precise role of U.S. companies in the NSA’s global surveillance operations remains unclear. Documents obtained by Edward Snowden and published by various news organizations show that companies have turned over their customers’ email, phone calling records and other data under court orders. But the level of cooperation beyond those court orders has been an open question, with several leading companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, asserting that they only turn over customer information that is “targeted and specific” in response to legal demands.
Apple’s public acknowledgement of device encryption making it impossible to cooperate with federal snoops has truly pissed off our lazyass spy bureaucrats.
The documents do not identify any specific companies as collaborating with the NSA. The references are part of an inventory of operations, of which the very “fact that” they exist is classified information. These include the:
Contractual Relationships (pg 7)
Backdoors in US Encryption Systems (pg 9)
Whipgenie collecting US communications (pg 7)
NSA going under cover in US companies (pg 7)
Predictably, our elected flunkies who head up Congressional Intelligence committees didn’t have any comment. They’re too busy being obedient, unquestioning.