NSA’s PRISM slides: what they show

The leak of a set of Power Point slides revealed the surprisingly wide scope of the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program.  Click on Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations for a report on the leaker and his motivations by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras for The Guardian.

But just what is on the slides?  This is what I found in a Google Image search.

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new prism slide

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The top slide indicates that the NSA is leveraging the United States’ position as the world’s telecommunications center in order to monitor Internet and electronic traffic which, as indicated in the third slide, covers virtually everything.

The second slide shows the dates in which the NSA started collecting PRISM data from various companies.  I wonder why they started with Microsoft in 2007 and didn’t get to Apple until five years later.  Did Apple management have objections?  How were those objections overcome?  Or was there some technical reason why it wasn’t practical to start PRISM collection with all the companies all at once.

The bottom slide indicates that the NSA does not depend on access to Google, Microsoft, Facebook and the other six companies in the PRISM program for electronic eavesdropping.  It collects information as data flows through fiber optics cables and Internet nodes.   PRISM is just a supplemental program.

Click on the links below for more information.

NSA Prism program taps in to user data from Apple, Google and others by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian.

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program by Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras of the Washington Post.

All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama by Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic Monthly.

[Added 6/10/13]   Reportedly there were 41 slides in all.  These four, and a cover page, are all that have been published, so far as i know.

[Added 7/1/13]   The Washington Post published some additional slides over the weekend.  Click on NSA slides explain the PRISM data collection program to see the slides and read the Post’s report.

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