Feeds

IBM: We gave NOTHING to the NSA, stateside or elsewhere

Our back door is closed but customers' front doors are open, says Big Blue

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

IBM has become the latest of the tech giants to deny handing over customer data to the NSA's PRISM program.

In this open letter, Big Blue's general counsel Robert Weber (also senior veep for legal and regulatory affairs) gives the “no way” message to the world at large.

Specifically, Weber writes that IBM did not provide “client data” to “the NSA or any other government agency under the program known as PRISM”, nor under any bulk metadata collection program; has not provided data stored outside the US under FISA orders or national security letters; doesn't put backdoors in its systems; and doesn't provide encryption keys to “the NSA or any other government agency” to give them access to client data.

Noting IBM's status as an enterprise vendor, Weber says if the NSA wants information about its customers in the USA, the spooks should approach its clients directly, and if it wants to know something about an IBM customer in another country, it should go through “internationally recognised legal channels”.

While its theme might have been “trust us”, IBM couldn't help slipping in a variation on the matter of data sovereignty. Since IBM hasn't ever handed over data, Weber argues, there's no need to try and protect data from an American dragnet by holding it somewhere else.

“Governments should reject short-sighted policies, such as data localization requirements, that do little to improve security but distort markets and lend themselves to protectionist tendencies,” he writes.

This, he says, is part of the need for governments to restore trust. He also calls for the US government to debate reforms to surveillance, which to El Reg strikes a discord: if Uncle Sam never actually got the data Edward Snowden asserts it has accessed (at least from IBM), where's the need for reform? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.