Major firms which were tapped under Prism include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Apple, PalTalk, AOL, Skype and YouTube
US President Barack Obama has defended the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programme, Prism, citing security concerns.
Obama said "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this programme’s about."
He also said that US citizens and residents were not targeted in the programme.
Last week, a senior intelligence official of US has reportedly admitted that the NSA and the FBI have tapped directly into the servers of nine major US tech firms to collect the users data.
The Guardian and the Washington Post have reported that the data was accessed through a programme called Prism, which enables authorities to access emails, information of live chats.
Major firms which were tapped under Prism include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Apple, PalTalk, AOL, Skype and YouTube.
Reuters reported that a US intelligence agency requested a criminal probe into the leak of highly classified information about secret surveillance programs run by the NSA.
According to Reuters, confirmation that the NSA filed a crimes report came a few hours after the nation’s spy chief, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an aggressive defence of a secret government data collection programme.