Inventor of the Web: NSA spying violates 'basic human rights'

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Major Internet companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft denied news reports that they have given the NSA direct access to their servers to mine their users' data as part of a program called PRISM.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed the program's existence but said the government does not "unilaterally" obtain information from Internet companies. 

He said that the Internet companies provide user data to the NSA only after receiving an order approved by a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Those courts only approve information requests if there is a "foreign intelligence purpose" and the target is "reasonably believed" to be outside of the United States, Clapper claimed.

In his statement to The Financial Times, Berners-Lee noted that the Web has become an "integral part of our lives."

"A trace of our use of it can reveal very intimate personal things," he said. "A store of this information about each person is a huge liability: Whom would you trust to decide when to access it, or even to keep it secure?”