Facebook responded to the bombshell reports Thursday about a long-term Internet-spying initiative led by the National Security Agency, code-named Prism, by denying that it has ever allowed any government agency to have direct access to its servers.
The social network said in a statement emailed to VentureBeat:
We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.
The Guardian reported Thursday that it obtained a top-secret document indicating that the NSA obtained direct access to the servers of Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, Skype, and AOL.
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft issued statements of denial similar to that of Facebook, and The Guardian reported that AOL claims to have never heard of Prism.
VentureBeat reported that DropBox was allegedly next on the list to be included in Prism, while Twitter was noticeably absent, likely due to the small amounts of data transmitted via the 140-character social network.
According to The Guardian, in the documents it obtained, the NSA referred to Prism as “one of the most valuable, unique, and productive accesses for NSA,” and it boasted of a 131 percent increase in requests for data from Facebook, as well as similar figures of 248 percent for Skype and 63 percent for Google.
Readers: Are you alarmed by the reports about Prism?