Nerval's Lobster writes: James R. Clapper, the nation’s Director of National Intelligence, claimed that recent reports about the NSA monitoring Americans’ Internet and phone communications are inaccurate. “ The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” he wrote in a June 6 statement. “They contain numerous inaccuracies.” While the statement didn’t detail the supposed inaccuracies, it explained why the monitoring described in those articles would, at least in theory, violate the law. “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States,” it read. “It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.” Those newspaper articles describe an NSA project codenamed Prism, which allegedly taps into the internal databases of nine major technology companies: Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. Both publications drew their information from an internal PowerPoint presentation used to train intelligence operatives. Speaking to Slashdot, Google, Microsoft and Facebook all again denied knowledge of Prism; the Google spokesperson suggested he didn’t “have any insight” into why Google would have appeared in the NSA’s alleged PowerPoint presentation. But many, many questions remain.
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