Thursday afternoon, a bombshell dropped: Two leading reports claimed that the U.S. government has been spying on emails, searches, Skype calls, and other electronic communications used by Americans for the last several years, via a program known as Prism.
According to the reports, the Web’s largest names—AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skype, PalTalk, Yahoo, and YouTube—participated, perhaps unwittingly. (Dropbox will reportedly be added as well.) The report claims that the National Security Agency had “direct access” to servers owned by those companies. Most, if not all, of those companies have denied participating in Prism, although it’s unclear whether they were unaware of the NSA’s spying, or simply turned a blind eye.