Edward Snowden: Facebook – Surveillance Company RE-branded as ‘Social Media’

(The AEGIS Alliance) – To sum it up, Cambridge Analytica purchased data from professor Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at University of Cambridge  during 2015, who’d created an app named “this is your digital life” that swallowed up lots of information on users along with their contacts. After forcing Cambridge Analytica and Kogan make a promise to remove the data the app gathered, Facebook got reports (from sources they won’t identify) which was claiming not all of this data had been removed – this led Facebook to permanently remove parent company SCL’s and Cambridge Analytica accounts.

“By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies. When we learned of this violation in 2015, we removed his app from Facebook and demanded certifications from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed. Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie all certified to us that they destroyed the data.” –Facebook

Something to note is that, Cambridge Analytica was working for for Ben Carson and Ted Cruz during the 2016 Presidential election before signing a contract with the Trump campaign. Cruz ceized using Cambridge Analytica after their data modeling failed at identifying likely supporters. 

Cambridge Analytica vehemently denies any wrongdoing in a statement they made.

Responding to this ban, Edward Snowden fired off a couple tweets on Saturday slamming Facebook, and claiming social media companies are simply companies involved in surveillance who are engaging in “successful deception” by RE-branding their selves.

Edward Snowden is not the first big name who’s called out Silicon Valley companies because of monitoring practices and data collection, or their notorious intersections with the United States Government.

In Julian Assange’s 2014 book: When Google Met WikiLeaks, he described Google’s close relationship with the Pentagon and NSA.

Around the same time, Google was becoming involved in a program known as the “Enduring Security Framework” (ESF), which entailed the sharing of information between Silicon Valley tech companies and Pentagon-affiliated agencies “at network speed.” Emails obtained in 2014 under Freedom of Information requests show Schmidt and his fellow Googler Sergey Brin corresponding on first-name terms with NSA chief General Keith Alexander about ESF Reportage on the emails focused on the familiarity in the correspondence: “General Keith . . . so great to see you . . . !” Schmidt wrote. But most reports overlooked a crucial detail. “Your insights as a key member of the Defense Industrial Base,” Alexander wrote to Brin, “are valuable to ensure ESF’s efforts have measurable impact.” –Julian Assange

Kim Dotcom has also stated his opinnion on social media’s close relationship with the government, and tweeted in February that “Unfortunately all big US Internet companies are in bed with the deep state. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. are all providing backdoors to your data.”

During 2013, both The Guardian and the Washington Post brought to light that the NSA holds backdoor access to all major Silicon Valley social media companies, which include Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, Apple, and Youtube – all through their notorious PRISM program which started in 2007 under the Protect America Act. PRISM’s existence had been leaked by Edward Snowden before entering into his current asylum in Moscow. Microsoft is first company that joined this PRISM program.

The NSA has an ability to pull any sort of data it wishes from these social media platforms, but is claiming it isn’t trying to collect all of it. The PRISM program is going above and beyond the existing laws that state companies must comply with government requests for data, as it gives the NSA direct access to each company’s servers — essentially letting the NSA do as it pleases. –The Verge

Following PRISM’s existence being leaked by Snowden, the Director of National Intelligence made a statement which states the only persons being targeted by the programs are “outside the U.S.,” and that this program “doesn’t allow” the targeting of citizens within the borders of the U.S.

In 2006, Wired magazine had published evidence and findings from Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, which reveals a secret room used to “separate” data on the internet at a San Francisco office and is part of the NSA’s bulk data collection techniques used on Americans in the millions of people.

During the course of that work, he learned from a co-worker that similar cabins were being installed in other cities, including Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, he said.

The split circuits included traffic from peering links connecting to other internet backbone providers, meaning that AT&T was also diverting traffic routed from its network to or from other domestic and international providers, Klein said. –Wired

“They’re collecting everything on everybody,” Klein stated.

Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




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Kyle James Lee

Kyle James Lee is the Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. He studied in college for Media Arts & Game Development. Skills include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Video Production.