The post by the world's largest technology service provider is the
latest backlash by a tech company against U.S. electronic
surveillance practices, after published reports on Wednesday that
alleged the government used websites to break into computers.
"IBM has not provided client data to the NSA or any other government
agency under any surveillance program involving the bulk collection
of content or metadata," Robert Weber, IBM's senior vice president
of legal and regulatory affairs, wrote in the blog post.
"If the U.S. government were to serve a national security order on
IBM to obtain data from an enterprise client and impose a gag order
that prohibits IBM from notifying that client, IBM will take
appropriate steps to challenge the gag order through judicial action
or other means," Weber said.
He added that the New York-based company would challenge national
security orders to obtain data stored outside the United States and
that efforts to access that data should go through recognized legal
channels like treaties.
The NSA has "co-opted" more than 140,000 computers since August 2007
to inject them with spying software, according to a slide leaked by
former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept
news website on Wednesday.]
In a statement, the NSA said the reports were "inaccurate" and said
it does not target users of global Internet services without
appropriate legal authority.
"Reports of indiscriminate computer exploitation operations are
simply false," the agency said.
IBM is one of several U.S. tech companies hit by the growing
government spying scandal. Its sales to China fell by 20 percent in
the second half of last year as Beijing encouraged state- owned
companies to buy China-branded products on fears of U.S. government
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In the post, Weber also called for greater transparency and a robust
debate about government surveillance.
"Data is the next great natural resource, with the potential to
improve lives and transform institutions for the better. However,
establishing and maintaining the public's trust in new technologies
is essential," he wrote.
On Thursday, Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg also
blasted the U.S. government's electronic spying.
"When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine
we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government,"
Zuckerberg said in a post on his personal Facebook page.
The documents showed that the NSA impersonated Facebook web pages in
order to gather information from targets. When those people thought
they were logging into Facebook, they were actually communicating
with the NSA. The agency then used malicious code on the fake page
to break into the targets' computers and remove data from them.
The agency rejected the reports and declined impersonating any U.S.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes; editing by
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