NSA incurred millions of dollars in Prism compliance costs, top-secret document reveals

By on August 23, 2013, 12:45 PM
nsa, government, spying, surveillance, national security agency, prism, compliance costs

Top-secret NSA documents provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal the National Security Agency incurred millions of dollars in fees to major Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo involved in the Prism surveillance program.

According to the publication, the NSA was met with resistance following an October 2011 judgment that found the agency’s inability to differentiate between domestic communications and foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.

This unfavorable decision meant the NSA had to spend millions of dollars to bring select operations into compliance. The agency requires the signing of annual “certifications” via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as the framework for their operations but after the judgment, these certificates were only being renewed on a temporary basis.

It’s these extensions that ultimately cost millions of dollars for Prism providers, the document revealed.

The paperwork further reveals the government is responsible for paying all costs associated with compliance from major Internet companies although it’s unclear if any money was ever actually paid. In a statement on the matter, Facebook said they never received any compensation in connection with responding to a government data request.

A Yahoo spokesperson said federal law requires the US government to reimburse providers for costs incurred to respond to compulsory legal process imposed by the government. As such, they’ve requested reimbursement consistent with the law. Google and Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Perhaps the real kicker here is that the NSA used taxpayer money to initially cover the cost of compliance.




User Comments: 7

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BlueDrake said:

Are we honestly surprised, they use taxpayer dollars to cover things? More like the question should be posed, what WON'T they spend taxpayer dollars on? They sure seem intent on doing various things, most without telling anyone all in the name of security. Which is just a blanketing coverup anymore, it's just no surprise though the general public lives blind to all this.

Rather live their lives, then try defending their rights and risk it all. That is unless a majority of people, actually snap out of their delusions and actually take action. By the time people actually do that anymore, it will be too late and most of the public power is lost.

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

In the interest of keeping secrets from enemies, we seem to be keeping secrets not only from friends but from their duly elected representatives. At least that is what we are told...

Is it possible that qualification for Top Secret clearance could be partly based on an uncritical attitude toward the keepers of secrets? Who watches the watchmen? ("Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Juvenal, 1st century AD)

Guest said:

I agree. News used to be news. Not a random assortment of tabloid style garbage aimed at distracting the populace. Its a shame you have to dig deep just to find the facts of what is actually going on in this country when we have "journalists" that are supposed to be doing it.

Its a sad time to be an American. Those who should care, don't. And those who care, don't know.

Khanonate said:

I agree. News used to be news. Not a random assortment of tabloid style garbage aimed at distracting the populace. Its a shame you have to dig deep just to find the facts of what is actually going on in this country when we have "journalists" that are supposed to be doing it.

Its a sad time to be an American. Those who should care, don't. And those who care, don't know.

Yup, a person is trying to look in but they were outside the fence and all he sees is the wall; then he makes his conclusion.....

spencer spencer said:

I agree. News used to be news. Not a random assortment of tabloid style garbage aimed at distracting the populace. Its a shame you have to dig deep just to find the facts of what is actually going on in this country when we have "journalists" that are supposed to be doing it.

Its a sad time to be an American. Those who should care, don't. And those who care, don't know.

senator Feinstein says real journalists get payed;so if your not corporate then your not a journalist;and if you want the truth look to the alternative media such as drudge report for instance a mainstream news site but has the truth still like those of alternative media.I do know;and I do care if only more could...

1 person liked this | Renrew Renrew said:

While I'm not a Snowdenphile, the one service he is doing the world, is exposing the lies being told to the general public under the guise of national and International security. This creates further paranoia and lowers public trust in our government to the lowest levels since the great depression.

The lies by Presidents and Chancellors, Congressmen and Senators, and Corporations large and small to protect the NSA, I'm afraid are more and more falling on deaf ears. What's interesting and a bit sad, is the liars insisting they knew nothing, even when confronted with written documentation to the contrary.

What this means for our once great country, only time will tell.

Guest said:

I would take ANYTHING a nutcase like senator Feinstein says with a grain of salt. If her mouth is open, its probably spewing lies or BS. Just saying.

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