NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies

The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian….

The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.

While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency 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.

via The Guardian

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided The Guardian with a December 2012 document stating that the agency’s “Special Source Operations” paid the companies millions of dollars to cover costs associated with legal certifications under the agency’s Internet surveillance program, PRISM…

…The government is required to reimburse companies for surveillance compliance costs, but privacy advocates worry about communications providers profiting from allowing the government to spy on their users.

via The Hill