Sources in touch with the New York Times purport that Yahoo was one of the companies with enough brass to try to resist national security data requests before its indoctrination into PRISM. In a secretive court though, the company was given the choice to either cooperate with federal agencies or submit to breaking the law. Yahoo, along with several other companies, chose the former.
If you've managed to somehow miss it, PRISM is an NSA-led effort to indiscriminately vacuum up all electronic communications into a central, searchable database. From there, authorized agents are able to sift through enormous sets of data, using methods like software-based heuristics to gather information which the agency argues is vital to foiling future terrorist plots. Details of PRISM's existence were exposed by Edward Snowden, an ex-government contractor who is now on the run for publishing classified documents.
Yahoo argued that handing over its users' data to the government without a warrant would violate constitutional principles. The secretive FISA court strongly disagreed.
"The record supports the government. Notwithstanding the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner, it has presented no evidence of any actual harm, any egregious risk of error, or any broad potential for abuse." the court stated. “Efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts."
"The petitioner suggests that, by placing discretion entirely in the hands of the Executive Branch without prior judicial involvement, the procedures cede to that Branch overly broad power that invites abuse." the court continued. "But this is little more than a lament about the risk that government officials will not operate in good faith. That sort of risk exists even when a warrant is required."
FISC, the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court is the product of FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill, amongst other things, grants feds the freedom to spy on foreigners and "their agents" without the need for a traditional warrant. Instead, the FISA court has its own process by which it issues warrants -- a process which is reportedly entirely non-transparent and less rigorous. Worst yet, the FISC has been accused of being a "rubber stamp" for federal authorities.
According to the New York Times, tech companies rarely issue legal challenges to combat national security requests; however, they do attempt to fight back by negotiating with officials. Yahoo, Google and Twitter are just three tech companies which have shown some resistance to government surveillance.
The Google Nexus 10 features Android 4.2 with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 chip paired with 2GB of RAM, as well as a 10-inch screen at 2560 x 1600 resolution, clocking in at 300ppi. There’s also a 5MP camera on the back, a 1.9MP camera on the front, and a battery that Google says runs for 9 hours. Other features include microUSB, Micro HDMI and not one but two NFC chips.
The Google Nexus 7 is the first Google tablet and is manufactured in partnership with Asus. It features a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and a Tegra 3 SoC which itself comprises a quad-core CPU and twelve-core GPU. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, also you get a front-facing camera and ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The Nokia Lumia 928 is powered by an 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 2,000mAh battery running Windows Phone 8. The screen is 4.5″ in diagonal with 768 x 1,280 pixels resolution. Last but not least, The Lumia 928 sports Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Get free exclusive content, learn about new features and breaking tech news.