Each of the Internet companies said to have given the U.S government some form of direct access to their servers quickly issued statements of denial after the practiced was first reported Thursday.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the NSA and FBI have direct access to the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL,
Below are statements from Apple, Google (parent to YouTube), Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft (which runs Skype), Paltalk, AOL and Dropbox.
"We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order," a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Statement from Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan:
"Protecting the privacy of our users and their data is a top priority for Facebook. We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law."
Yahoo! takes users' privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.
MICROSOFT (parent company of Skype)
"We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it."
GOOGLE (parent company of YouTube)
"Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."
PALTALK (given to the Wall Street Journal)
"We have not heard of PRISM. Paltalk exercises extreme care to protect and secure users' data, only responding to court orders as required to by law. Paltalk does not provide any government agency with direct access to its servers."
AOL (according to the Huffington Post)
"We do not have any knowledge of the Prism program. We do not disclose user information to government agencies without a court order, subpoena or formal legal process, nor do we provide any government agency with access to our servers."
DROPBOX (according to the Atlantic Wire)
"We've seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users' privacy."