When Edward Snowden revealed the NSA was wiretapping basically every mainstream tech company in the United States, Silicon Valley cried plead innocence—and ignorance. But according to the agency's top attorney, that was a lie.
The Guardian reports NSA general counsel Rajesh De is contradicting months of denials from the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple:
Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies...Asked during at a Wednesday hearing of the US government's institutional privacy watchdog if collection under the law, known as Section 702 or the Fisa Amendments Act, occurred with the "full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained," De replied: "Yes."
Basically, we're back to the worst case assumption we all jumped to when news of PRISM and its spooky-sounding cousins first broke. But if the NSA's counsel is telling the truth—it's unclear if he'd be perjuring himself otherwise—the mega-vocal, orchestrated, tripping-over-their-own-chubby-legs protest campaign by Silicon Valley was a farce. They were in on it all along. Maybe they weren't happy about it, as Zuckerberg has brayed so loudly, but they were never in the dark—and a reluctant collaborator is still a collaborator.