Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Why the NSA Wanted Back Door Access to Data Centres

The revelations about exactly how much data the NSA scoops up is getting steadily creepier. This morning, the Washington Post revealed that the NSA has more-or-less direct, secret access to data centres belonging to Google and Yahoo. The WaPo has an infographic which explains the interception, if you’re more the visual type.

“Hold on,” I hear you mutter, “didn’t the PRISM program already give them this access?”

Not exactly. PRISM gave them access from the front door, with secret court orders which couldn’t be fought. This is back door access.

Andrea Peterson of the WaPo explains:

But the NSA may have preferred its back-door method of accessing the data because it was less visible to the technology companies holding the data.┬áBy accessing data without the knowledge of tech companies, it didn’t have to worry that the volume of data iit was accessing could raise privacy alarm bells within those companies.

I feel safer already.