London, Aug. 24: The United States National Security Agency (NSA) had allegedly paid millions of dollars to cover the compliance costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program, which was banned by a court for being unconstitutional.
The Guardian reports that technology companies, like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, had incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court.
Obama’s administration had found in the October 2011 judgment that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had passed on the highly classified documents to the Guardian describing the problems created by the agency’s decision and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance.
The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA, the report added.
The intelligence agency required the FISA court to sign annual certifications that provided the legal framework for surveillance operations, the report added.
However, these were only being renewed on a temporary basis in the wake of the court judgment, while the agency tried to work out a solution to the illegal processes.
Snowden’s revelations have shown that communications between Americans were collected in large quantities, either deliberately, because the individual has been in contact with a foreign intelligence target, or inadvertently because the NSA was unable to separate out purely domestic communications. (ANI)