Security researchers examining the PRISM denials made by the companies alleged to be providing data to the NSA say that the language used is suspiciously similar. The emphasis is ours:
Google: First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers.
Apple: “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.”
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.
The fact that the exact same phrase has been used seems unlikely to be a coincidence. One security researcher I spoke to said the wording only eliminated the NSA pulling data from the servers; it did not mean the companies were not pushing the data to the NSA. If the NSA obtained a secret court order requiring the companies to hand over the data, then of course statements that they only provide data when required to do so by law would also be true … expand full story