According to an unclassified document circulated Saturday, NSA probed less than 300 phone numbers last year.
This comes at a time when tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft are trying to regain the confidence of their customers by revealing the number of requests received and granted by these companies. And looks like the Obama Government is also trying to do the same as the paper explains the procedure of such searches conducted by the Government.
The paper explains that such searches have enabled the Government thwart several terrorist attacks in the country. These programs have nailed down terrorists before they even execute their plans like the two individuals who were caught while making plans to attack New York City’s subway system.
The Chairman of the House Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers further explains how the Government collected information from the citizens without violating any individual’s rights.
“We take the business records by a court order, and it’s just phone numbers — no names, no addresses — put it in a lock box,” Rogers went on to explain to CBS News “And if they get a foreign terrorist overseas that’s dialing in to the United Sates, they take that phone number… they plug it into this big pile, if you will, of just phone numbers — it’s like a phonebook without any names and any addresses with it — to see if there’s a connection, a foreign terrorist connection to the United States.”
“When a number comes out of that lock box, it’s just a phone number — no names, no addresses,” he continued. “If they think that’s relevant to their counterterrorism investigation, they give that to the FBI. Then upon the FBI has to go out and meet all the legal standards to even get whose phone number that is.”
The news of the existence of the PRISM program and other such secret surveillance programs has been a revelation to the public as well as a number of law makers.
We have seen a number of tech companies and now the government come forward and reveal information about such programs and we are sure things will get clearer when we receive more information about the same in the future.