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U.S. tech companies had full knowledge of NSA spying, agency’s lawyer says

According to Rajesh De, general counsel for the National Security Agency, U.S. technology companies had full knowledge of the NSA’s bulk data collection.

During a hearing Wednesday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, asked whether the metadata, collected under Section 702 of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act occurred “with the full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained.”

De said yes, adding that the surveillance program Prism, was an “internal government term” that became a public one as a result of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“Collection under this program was a compulsory legal process, that any recipient company would receive,” he said.

Technology companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, YouTube, Apple, denied involvement with the NSA surveillance program and said the agency did not have backdoor access to their customers’ data.

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