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Monday, November 24th, 2014

Partners In Crime: NSA Paid Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Tech Companies

As more details are uncovered about NSA’s spy program, the news is becoming more shocking. Recently uncovered documents are showing that not only did the NSA violate Americans’ civil liberties; collaborating with tech companies to spy on people, but they also used taxpayer dollars to do so. As reported by gizmodo.com:

“It looks like the NSA was a little cozier with Silicon Valley companies than we previously realized. Newly declassified documents show that the spy agency (read: taxpayers) paid Google, Yahoo, and others millions of dollars to cover the costs associated with PRISM.”

Although this NSA PRISM story has been heavily covered in the news, it hasn’t seemed to evoke the public outrage that it deserves, but this new information should take things up a notch. For all the talk of how the government—from both sides of the political spectrum—can better spend the country’s money, people will most likely be appalled that the government was using their money to break their civil liberties. According to the washingtonpost.com:

“The revelation puts a financial spin on what until now has mostly been a question of civil liberties. Previous NSA documents have linked companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft to the PRISM program, though many of the companies have denied granting the NSA “direct access” to their servers. Although a Yahoo spokesperson said the government is supposed to reimburse companies for cooperating with federal surveillance requests, the other tech companies either denied receiving money or refused to respond directly to the accusations.”

This should be unsettling to any citizen who is paying attention. Not only are hard-earned tax dollars being spent against the taxpayer, but this creates a slippery slope with the relationship between tech companies and government agencies, such as the NSA. It’s already a bad thing that companies like Google and Microsoft are abandoning the privacy of their users to cooperate in a program like PRISM. It is an entirely different ball game if millions of dollars are being exchanged because companies have an incentive to gain additional revenue.

Tell us what you think about tax dollars being paid to tech companies to spy on the taxpayers.

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