NSA Prism surveillance scandal downplayed by UK government

The British and American governments have attempted to turn the debate over secret surveillance after the Guardian’s revelations of a covert US program which appeared to garner and analyse emails and other personal information held by some of the world’s leading internet companies.After two days in which both administrations appeared flat-footed and embarrassed by the disclosures, US officials sought to downplay the importance of the Prism system, set up by the National Security Agency (NSA), while the British foreign secretary, William Hague, flatly denied GCHQ might have tried to bypass UK laws governing the collection and retention of personal data.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-prism-uk-governmentAlso see:Former CIA man Edward Snowden faces backlash after turning whistleblower on US Prism data-mining operation
The man behind the largest leak of classified information in the history of the US National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen to make his identity public, despite the potential consequences for himself and his loved ones. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and former CIA technical assistant, said he had never intended to remain anonymous. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.Snowden’s revelations, which he leaked initially to Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, included the existence of a growing NSA stockpile of millions of phone records from the US public. According to the top secret documents, the Agency’s PRISM programme also gives it “direct access” to files from the servers of major tech companies such as Google and Facebook. This vast data mining operation is supposedly designed to anticipate and prevent terror plots.
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/former-cia-man-edward-snowden-faces-backlash-after-turning-whistleblower-on-us-prism-datamining-operation-8651375.htmlComparing Two Secret Surveillance Programs
New details about two government programs used by the National Security Agency to gather telephone and Internet data provide insight into how surveillance programs that began under George W. Bush have been used under President Obama.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/07/us/comparing-two-secret-surveillance-programs.html

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