Early in June, a contractor for the National Security Agency named Edward Snowden blew the whistle on a program called PRISM. At a glance, PRISM is a massive surveillance program that allegedly includes the collection of data from America’s largest internet, technology, and telecom companies. Slides obtained by the Washington Post reveal that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are all apparently subject to monitoring.
To say the least, the situation is still developing. Snowden has fled to Hong Kong, but remains in contact with media and seems content to press the issue from overseas. In the meantime, the NSA is facing a firestorm and the companies indicated in the report have been left to answer to a confused and upset public. In most cases, the companies have claimed ignorance of the program, and have issued statements clarifying exactly what information they have shared with the government.