Google and Facebook both published responses to the PRISM accusations. You can find Google’s response on their blog and Facebook’s by way of a Zuck status.
As I read through them, I noticed something that others have noticed - they’re remarkably similar. In fact, it may seem as if they’re using a generic script and basing their response off of that.
Here’s some comparisons:
Google: “As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.”
Facebook: “I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM”
Google: “we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers”
Facebook: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers”
Google: “We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.”
Facebook: “We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.”
Google: ”Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests … don’t follow the correct process”
Facebook: “we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes”
Google: ”this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach”
Facebook: “We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent”
Google: “we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish”
Facebook: “It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.”
After first viewing the PRISM slides, I thought they were fake. After all, a program that large couldn’t cost the government just $20m/year. However, there are six examples above where the responses by two large companies have been nearly the same. In addition, even Apple responded to the accusations within just a few hours of the leak! It wasn’t in the middle of the day - it was late into the evening.
Something is up.
I don’t know what is happening, but I do not like it.