Privacy Advocates: With PRISM, FBI Has No 'Going Dark' Argument

Experts say the recently-uncovered PRISM program means the FBI and NSA have no problem accessing data.

(AP Photo)

A copy of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis," to give the NSA information on all landline and mobile telephone calls.

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"It takes out the interaction between government and internet companies and allows the government to decide on their own about what they want to collect," she says. "It critically takes out that safeguard."

Richardson says the FBI has now lost its credibility when it comes to the "going dark" problem.

[ALSO: Is Congress Responsible for NSA Phone Data Mining?]

"It seems with PRISM that they're not having all that many troubles accessing information. I don't know how we can ask Congress to expand the authority of CALEA without knowing what their capabilities are already," Richardson says. "I have to question the need for a CALEA-II and this claim they have about going dark."

Rainey Reitman, head of the EFF's activism team, says that while the Guardian's Verizon leak "filled out some details" about how FISA was being used, PRISM blindsided the organization.

"This was a big surprise to all of us because the PRISM thing is a whole additional step. The Verizon story is something we've had a lawsuit about for years," she says. "We're still learning about these programs, and we all use [cell phones], you can't get away from them. There are still a lot of questions to be answered and the people who use these services deserve to know the answers."

More News:

  • Verizon Ordered to Provide NSA With Millions of Phone Records
  • NSA Spying Included Major Internet Giants
  • Boehner Calls on Obama to Explain NSA Spying Program