FISA: Why NSA spying is breaking UK law
What De is saying is that the companies were ordered to do this by the US government, using a secret court created under the governing legislation, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 1978. He is also saying that the named corporations knew what they were doing because they were acting under written court orders.
US law does not run outside US territory. A law made in the US that says “thou shalt thieve and steal abroad” has no validity in the UK, or anywhere else. The thefts ordered by the Fisa Courts are, for the most part, illegal in the UK, under the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act section 8 and the Official Secrets Act. Pleading Fisa is no defence in a UK court.
The PCLOB session minutes amount to the public record of a criminal conspiracy to spy on other nations by forcing commercial companies to do the dirty work.
There was no input from the nine corporations listed as being part of the Prism programme, although each was approached for comment by email for Computer Weekly.
And it is quite possible that the entire Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is unconstitutional in the US. While all the discussion in America has been about Fisa spying on Americans in the US, none of the discussion has addressed the issue of how the orders given to the companies could be legally executed in countries outside the US. Or how US corporations and citizens could be legally ordered to commit crimes in other countries, for which they would be liable if caught.
The companies listed in the Fisa memos, published on 6 and 7 June 2013 by the Guardian, are Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Paltalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple.