As if a top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand telephone records over to the National Security Agency  weren't enough, the UK Guardian is now reporting that the federal government's spying program extends to online communications, through a program granting the NSA "direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US Internet giants." The program is called PRISM, and details about it were provided in yet another top secret document  leaked to the British newspaper.
PRISM "allows them to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats," according to the article .
According to an article in The Washington Post : "The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: 'Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.'"
Interestingly enough, these new revelations are coming to light the same week that whistleblower Bradley Manning is standing trial for disclosing U.S. diplomatic cables and other classified government documents.