PRISM Nine: The Implications

Jason Ditz, June 10, 2013

The leaks about America’s ever growing (and already ridiculously large) surveillance state came with a handy list of nine companies that joined the program. Those companies are, per the NSA’s own leaked data, giving the NSA direct access to their servers and, according to officials, the PRISM Nine also went out of their way to redesign their systems to easier facilitate the NSA’s spying on Americans.

Microsoft was the first on the list, joining way back when PRISM was just getting started. We all know Microsoft, and with its creation of Bing and its acquisition of Skype (another of the PRISM Nine), it is a big player in this scandal.

Here’s where it gets even worse (as it always does). Microsoft is coming out with a new video game console later this year. It will cost $499. I like video games. I even own Microsoft’s current video game system. But then it dawned on me – this new system will:

1. Require a constant connection to the Internet to even function.
2. Require the new version of Kinect to be always connected, and it is always on.

Kinect, for those unfamiliar, is an array of high definition cameras that can track movement in three dimensions. It was conceived of as a “joystickless” way to control games. It also includes a microphone, and that is always on on the new Xbox One, nominally so you can say commands and the system executes them without needing a remote control.

Which means Microsoft wants to install a three-dimensional surveillance array into your home, and require you to keep it always on, always feeding data to the Internet. And this company is a known facilitator of NSA surveillance of individual Americans. See the problem?

Microsoft was never high up on my “trust” list in the first place, but I hope no one is stupid enough to pay them $499 for the privilege of installing always-on surveillance equipment in your home to watch you knowing, not suspecting, but knowing that they are passing that information on to the NSA.




17 Responses to “PRISM Nine: The Implications”

  1. [...] For $499 you can pick up one of the new Xbox’s from Microsoft. Microsoft has just been named as one of the companies colluding with the NSA on data gathering. According to officials Microsoft was one of the companies that even made design changes to accommodate the NSA. Would you then trust the new X-box, which requires an “always on” internet connection and is fitted with an array of cameras and a microphone? More… [...]

  2. "Require the new version of Kinect to be always connected, and it is always on."

    This was a rumor, but apparently will not be true. You can turn the entire console off including the Kinect, or pause the Kinect: http://kotaku.com/xbox-one-kinect-privacy-concern

    If you're not worried about owning a laptop or phone equipped with a camera, I don't know why this device should inherently spark more privacy concerns. Obviously, don't stream sub rosa meetings across the internet in ANY form, whether you're skyping on your laptop or the Xbox's Kinect, and expect the NSA will not know about it. Don't film yourself doing something illegal, etc. Certain things are common sense.

    "1. Require a constant connection to the Internet to even function."

    Also a debunked rumor. The device will need to check in at least every 24 hrs for some functionality, and as an anti-piracy (modding) measure.

    This article should be corrected.

  3. don’t want/need the game…but just to extend the point of paranoia.

    I made a snide comment on rcp months back saying half of jon-stewart daily audience drink pbr because they think it’s hip. (ie they do as they are told)

    week later. a half-filled/half-empty pbr can ended up in front of by house. strangely circumstantial?

    Now that all the NSA surveillance is public, the shills say IF you avoid these companies that shill for NSA, THEN you are acting suspicious. AND THUS, will be targeted. for “VETTING”

    Aha! Big Brother just sent you the meme: continue as normal or risk being targeted. two points:

    1) Who does the vetting? IF I’m right and somebody sent me a “message” in a can of beer, then these ‘vets’ are acrimonious and petty.

    2) What if millions of American protest like the run up to Iraq 2003? What if millions drop all these companies…AND a) make the subcontractors for NSA process of vetting a complete PITA, and b) these QTR return minded companies say the economic loss is too great.

    Think about it for a minute: Jam the system by all of America becoming a target and boycott the lackeys and watch their profits dump in 90days or less.

    final points:

    duckduckgo and Tor project in use during PBR joke

    ANTIWAR does not allow for page encryption–Why not?

  4. 'Elvis has left the building'

    The 'basic' crimes are lying, cheating, theft and murder.

    It's a progression in 'severity-level;' although lies may not actually constitute physical harm, the next three certainly do, with murder obviously being the most serious.

    Sooo, any criminal (especially murderers) will not shy from lying, in fact unless a criminal lies (commission/omission) then s/he may self-incriminate – but will 'naturally' deny any/all knowledge of their crime(s).

    Although perhaps a bit laboured, the point is that any organisation which gets away with some crime has no bounds on repeats/extensions. I can't say exactly when the US-regime (or the Z-regime) went rogue, but it was latest when they deliberately harmed, worst killed some innocent. Rogue-regimes are integrated; typically there's an executive, a military, a bureaucracy including covert parts – but they all work together, and so the guilt is shared by all.

    As part of my 'democracy = sham' proof, I have previously asserted that so-called 'representatives' sell out to (add: may be coerced by) the highest bidder, typically the <1% and/or a 5th column (latter = treason.) Along with the non-representatives, the military and associated lackeys are co-perpetrators of mass-murder (one proof = aggressive, illegal invasion of Iraq, then Afghanistan, Libya and currently Syria, all only post 9/11), and murder requires psychopathy.

    Then, consider Bernays: "Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

    Q: Where would "an invisible government" hide? A: Silly question.

    Next, wiki/ECHELON: "UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) … the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links."

    One 'trick' here is that they don't have to spy on their own populations – the partners do it, then the data is 'exchanged.' So the 'letter of the law' may be observed, but the spirit of the law is thwarted.

    PRISM&ilk are merely extensions of ECHELON.

    'Security' is considered paramount, and would be if there was a genuine external enemy. In fact, the US manufactures enemies; Russia latest August 6 and 9, 1945, Muslims latest September 11, 2001; the Zs manufactured Arab/Muslims as enemies latest after Jabotinsky's Iron Wall, 1923. UK has coveted ME-oil since before WW1, and F plays catch-up. 'Security' is where the problem lies; once secrecy is allowed, all sorts of malfeasance can be – and is – hidden behind a 'covert wall.'

    Lemma: Secrecy is a mortal enemy of democracy.

    Next, with the US/Z rogue-regimes rampant plus F+UK/NATO, now that we can see past the corrupt&venal MSM+PFBCs' news-gatekeepers, one of the rogue-regimes' targets becomes some of us, we the people. The rogue-regimes need to know who's saying what to whom, in order to eliminate trouble-makers – like antiwar the website say, and antiwar 'agitators' – like you and me (except where 'you' are pro-war apologists or 5th columnists, all traitors.)

    Ditz is correct. It Gets Worse…

  5. Apart from the incorrect information on the Kinect requirements, what is also debunked by now by rather credible sources is the accusation the Nine are "giving the NSA direct access to their servers". What they're doing is providing requested information by electronic means which they otherwise would send on disc or print-outs. Which all organizations do when a proper warrant is in place, the bigger ones just have to deal with it more frequently and organize it better.

    Antiwar.com would show their dedication to truth by trying to keep the hype out of the reporting this time. The discussion should be about the warrants and authorization or perhaps about simple traffic mining (the Verizon deal). Not about some unlimited access to company servers or consumer devices. That would be right there in the order of 9/11 conspiracy theories! Way to go when the goal would be marginalizing oneself as credible news organization.

  6. @JohnDowser June 11th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    "Way to go when the goal would be marginalizing oneself …"

    Me: G'day Mr Dowser, I thought your comment might have been somehow significant, until I read the above – which plunged your credibility over a cliff.

    Way to go, when the goal is to intimidate; some sort of psyoperator and/or belongs to the I/J/Z-plex, much? Well, JohnDowser could illustrate his bona fides by answering this rather simple test Q: Is it possible for jet-fuel fires to melt steel skyscrapers?

  7. Well people defend the new xbox with privacy statements when the NSA takes over a device these will no longer apply. They can watch and listen to you through your cell phone without it even turned on (hense why government officials know to pull the battery in sensitive situations).
    The real question is why on earth would anyone install such a device in there own home which has such a snooping big brother potential. At the very least it will pull advertising marketing data watching you watch ads. That's bad enough and that is just the microsoft side of it.
    I would never allow an Xbox one in my home, we should be careful where we put our money especially when it is at our own expenses for privacy and civil freedoms.
    Terrible idea Microsoft, gone too far.

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