Four new slides detailing more of the top-secret NSA program known as Prism were released Saturday by The Washington Post.
The slides — given to the Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — show the Prism “tasking process”, flow of data being collected, and “case notations.”
The first slide shows how an NSA analyst “tasks” the system for data on a surveillance target, which is passed to a supervisor to ensure with “51 per cent confidence” the target is a foreign national. Another shows a complicated flow of data collection and processing, which is “analysed by specialised systems that handle voice, text, video and ‘digital network information’ that includes the locations and unique device signatures of targets, according to the Post.
Perhaps the most interesting slide is the fourth, which says there were 117,675 active surveillance targets in the Prism database, as of April 5.
The Prism program, first revealed on June 6, reportedly allows the NSA to gain access to a number of major internet companies, including Google, Facebook, and Skype.
All the companies named have strongly denied any involvement and James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has stressed that the program is lawful.
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