[surprised look goes here]
I guess if it's my emails they're reading, it's only fair I pay for it.
Wait, I'm not a US citizen . Ha! Bonus! I get my emails read by the NSA and don't have to stump up the bucks!
You foreign socialists make me sick! Just a bunch of free-riders on America's Global Benevolence.
You know guys, all of these withering barbs against the NSA are going down in your 'Sarcasm to be interpreted literally' files.
Buddy if Prism has been going on as long as the slides say it has then I'm already damned if they want to cook up a reason to haul me in.
So stop yer bellyaching the NSA came up with the most all encompassing least intrusive social network EVER. No buttons to click and they even do the signup for you. ALL SHARING ALL THE TIME!
1) Would you prefer that the government place an unpaid mandate on the companies? They had to do work to make this happen, they got paid to do that work. Sounds like a government contract to me.
2) "Millions", when you're talking about government, is chump change.
Come on, folks. Are you really that desperate to find something new to say about the NSA?" Let's see just a bit of perspective here!
But then, isn't everything?
Considering I'm not very empathetic to corporations, I actually can see really great reasons from a not-a-company perspective why it would have been great if the companies had to pay. Not because I think companies should have to foot the bill for complying with something massively immoral and not because the U.S. is that strapped for cash (because I'll happily agree with you that it's chump change).
If the companies had been required to pay, there is about 0% chance we would have had to wait for Snowden to leak in order for us to find out about it. Given all those companies involved, I bet at least one CEO would have stood up and said "Nope, not gonna" very loudly and said what they wouldn't do and why with a strong streak of faux principles. Even if it meant that some CEO went to minimum security prison for a long long time.
Those payouts really amount to hush money.
All that said, I'm not surprised they got something and given the large scale, I'm not surprised it was cash. If it was just one or two companies, we might have seen some more elaborate, less accounting-friendly scheme.
I'm not incensed exactly but it's always a bit galling to pay for the rope used to hang you. Even if it's a pittance.
I bet good money that "Nope, not gonna" is exactly what happened, it's just they said it to the NSA instead of saying it publicly, and then the NSA gave them the money.
Hmmm, perhaps a new way to fund projects... Instead of ad revenue, have users agree to explicitly share everything with the NSA in return for NSA$.
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