Prism and the US internet giants: The relationship, the numbers and the language

The US has been accessing private data of 'foreigners' for years - so who are the eight companies in the Prism scandal, and what was their role?

Name: Microsoft

Value: £151bn

PRISM inclusion: September 2007

Users: 400m

They said: “Your privacy is our priority.”

They say: "If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it.”

Name: Yahoo!

Value: £15bn

PRISM inclusion: December 2008

Users: 200m

They said: “Yahoo! is committed to gaining your trust.”

They say: “We do not provide the Government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”

Name: Google

Value: £173bn

PRISM inclusion: January 2009

Users: 1bn

They said: “We want you to be clear how we’re using information and the ways in which you can protect your privacy.”

They say: “Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data.”

Name: Facebook

Value: £40bn

PRISM: inclusion: June 2009.

Users: 1bn

They said: “We will protect you and your information better than any other company in the world.”

They say: “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.”

Name: Paltalk

Value: £100m

PRISM inclusion: December 2009

Users: 150m

They said: “We strive to protect our user's privacy.”

They say: Not commented yet.

Name: YouTube

Value: £13bn

PRISM inclusion: September 2010

Users: 1bn

They said: “We're serious about protecting our users.”

They say: “Google [which runs YouTube] does not have a back door for the government to access private user data."

Name: Skype

Value: £8.8bn

PRISM inclusion: February 2011

Users: 663m

They said: “Skype [owned by Microsoft] is committed to respecting your privacy.”

They say: “If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it.”

Name: AOL

Value: £2bn

PRISM inclusion: March 2011

Users: 300m

They said: “Your information is only shared with third parties with your permission.”

They say: Not commented yet.

Name: Apple

Value: £268bn

PRISM inclusion: October 2012

Users: 500m

They said: “Your privacy is important to Apple.”

They say: “"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."

Further reading:

GCHQ handed personal web data by US spies
Obama defends NSA and FBI mining private data
Q&A: What is Prism, is it legal and what data can it obtain?

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