#Compliance: NSA data gathering continues to inflame controversy

The online debate surrounding the NSA's data-gathering activities persists, as revelations surrounding the PRISM program continue to come to light.

Social media is a great tool for reaching out to and connecting with like-minded professionals in the compliance space. However, between the speed of business and healthy doses of incoming work, it's tough to babysit a Facebook profile or a Google Plus stream, and you always feel like you miss the best tweets. We get that. That's why we're mining our list of GRC literati for their nuggets of insight, wisdom and the occasional chuckle.

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The U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) PRISM program continues to spark contention both at home and abroad as details of the program continue to be brought to light. Even the United Nations and NSA officers' love interests weren't immune to the NSA spying allegations. Now the legality of the NSA's actions is coming into question: The American Civil Liberties Union argued in court papers that the NSA's data gathering violates the Constitution. French prosecutors announced a preliminary investigation into whether the NSA violated French law by secretly collecting personal data. And, in a report released by Facebook earlier this week, the social networking giant claimed the U.S. government requested data on at least 20,000 users this year alone.

As expected, the Twitterverse has been buzzing as the NSA spying controversy continues:

Many criticized the "Big Brother"-type actions of the U.S. government, saying the NSA's data-gathering activities went way beyond what was necessary…

… and others warned against the dangers of citizen complacency in the matter.

The private sector has now become involved in the NSA spying allegations, as well. The Guardian reported the NSA paid millions to cover PRISM compliance costs for tech companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook. Recent reports show trust in U.S. tech companies is eroding, which some say is a direct result of the NSA's PRISM program.

And of course, there have been some snarky reactions to the controversy, as well as some pretty funny jokes:

What do you think of the ongoing NSA data collection controversy? Has the U.S. government gone too far with its surveillance activities, or are their measures necessary to protect American interests? Voice your concerns in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Ben Cole, site editor. For more regulatory compliance news and updates throughout the week, follow us on Twitter @ITCompliance.

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