Coming a few months too late, IBM denies being involved in any way or form with the National Security Agency.The company issued a statement through the voice of Robert C. Weber, senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs, who claims that allegations concerning IBM and NSA’s PRISM are untrue.
“IBM is fundamentally an enterprise company, meaning our customers are typically other companies and organizations rather than individual consumers. We serve some of the world’s most successful global corporations, helping them achieve their business goals,” Weber writes.
“IBM has not provided client data to the National Security Agency (NSA) or any other government agency under the program known as PRISM,” he concludes.
The most recent reports targeting the NSA and involving IBM point out to the agency’s efforts to hack into the Chinese telecommunications firms to steal text messages and attack local university servers to implant spying programs.
Considering the fact that companies such as IBM, Oracle and EMC provide systems for the country, an investigation has been launched. As a reaction, IBM denied providing any type of data to the NSA or any government agency.
This includes actions under the program known as PRISM, any surveillance program involving the bulk collection of content or metadata, national security orders such as FISA demands or National Security Letters.
Furthermore, IBM denies implanting backdoors into its products which would allow the intelligence agency or government agencies to decrypt data. Weber also says that IBM did not provide software source code or encryption keys.
The vice president continues, expressing the company’s commitment to clients by saying that if a government wants to access data held by IBM, they expect for that government to deal with the client directly.
“If the U.S. government were to serve a national security order on IBM to obtain data from an enterprise client and impose a gag order that prohibits IBM from notifying that client, IBM will take appropriate steps to challenge the gag order through judicial action or other means,” he goes on.
Since people and companies outside the United States have barely any type of protection in front of an agency such as the National Security Agency, IBM states that the US government would need to go through international legal channels to obtain data stored outside the country.
IBM’s exec advised the US government to have a robust debate on surveillance reforms, something that’s been discussed quite often in the past months. Although President Obama promised a lot of changes, those that he did announce had a very low impact on the agency’s activities and barely covered any important mass surveillance programs run by the NSA.