The National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been tapping into the servers of major Internet companies to collect audio, video, photographs, e-mails and other documents under a program code-named PRISM, the Washington Post reported.
However, James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in a written statement that the Post report and another on phone surveillance by The Guardian contained "numerous inaccuracies," and that the data collection only targets non-Americans outside the United States.
What's more, companies reportedly tied to PRISM told ABC News they did not routinely give the government direct access to private data.
"We have never heard of PRISM," read an emailed statement from Apple. "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order."