Image 01 Image 03

Did PRISM watch me create this blog post?

Did PRISM watch me create this blog post?

The latest revelation about how deeply the government can watch every one of us.  Allegedly.  Executives of companies involved say they know nothing about the program.

But if they did know, could they tell? Or would they be under some sort of gag order similar to the Verizon metadata mining program?

NSA taps in to internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal:

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.

Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.

In a statement, Google said: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”

Several senior tech executives insisted that they had no knowledge of PRISM or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a programme. “If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge,” one said.

An Apple spokesman said it had “never heard” of PRISM.

Slides are available at WaPo, including this one:

Prism Slide 5



Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Note the security classifications. Is this Petraeus’ revenge?

    Doug Wright in reply to creeper. | June 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Actually, if PRISM didn’t really exist, Vince Flynn would have to invent it.

    It was said some 43-years ago that NSA “read” all international electronic traffic to and from the USA and I believe that was then a true statement.

    If the fuzz wanted to track my car from outside my garage to wherever I drive, there’s very little I could do to prevent that other than scream to high heaven or to stay home.

    I’m not certain that PRISM is a strong concern as to our privacy rights. Now, reading the contents is a different matter.

You know what really pisses me off with this? The fact that WE ARE PAYING FOR THEM TO SPY ON US!

Having Wolf Blitzer on autorun is just plain rude.

Big Brother is watching. How soon before he starts punishing. Wake up Liberals! Your guy is a tyrant!

    Neo in reply to arnonerik. | June 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    The real problem here is whether or not the law allows for domestic monitoring. This was the same question that came up during all the screaming, yelling and gnashing of teeth during Bush 43.

    The main author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner, says it doesn’t allow for domestic monitoring.

    And these are FISA courts (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) issuing the warrants. Foreign, Foreign !!!

    We were assured during the last administration that at least on party on these communications were foreign.

    The only thing that is “foreign” about PRISM appears to be in the name of the court that issued the warrant.

An Apple spokesman said it had “never heard” of PRISM.

I think they call it “iSpy” at Apple.

Okay so why does the Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from spying on U.S. citizens, not apply to NSA, which is a DOD organization headed by a three-star (at least) general or admiral?

Hi, Barry!

We know what you’re doing!

And we will eventually get you for it!


Hey, while I have your attention, Barry, my ancestors fought in the War of Independence and the Civil War (on the Northern side), etc., etc., and if you think for one second that you’re going to upend this nation that you hate to your core, you’re sorely mistaken.


Your buddy turfmann, who does not live in flyover country.

Btw, the acronyms mean:
Top Secret/Sensitive Intelligence/Originator Controlled (i.e. the person who made the slide controls its classification). Not releasable to foreign nationals (i.e. NOFORN).

Do you really think “they” are monitoring your every movement, every utterance, every association, just because they can?

Do you really think “they” will be able to stop at mere electronic and soon to be photographic (drones) surveillance?

“They” are gathering tactical intelligence on the enemy.

“They” tell us it’s for defensive purposes only.

“They” would never lie to the enemy.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Browndog. | June 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Every day is “The Truman Show!”

    David Yotham in reply to Browndog. | June 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

    “They” have never told us who the enemy was.

    “They” are starting to make me feel like I am their enemy.

    “They” are totally freaking me out!

    “They” should get a life and get out of mine!

BannedbytheGuardian | June 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

2007 . One would have to be naive to believe a handy tool like that already on the books would be ditched.

“Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.”

Then again, you asshats sitting in the Utah desert probably figured I’d copy that from Weasel Zippers and plant it here, didn’t ya?

nordic_prince | June 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Not that I expect this “President” to even pretend to have any respect for the Constitution, but when did Congress become so blase about the 4th amendment?

The preponderance of evidence suggests that the collective IQ of that branch of government is 39 – and that’s being overly generous. When will someone have the gonads to stand up to that tinpot dictator occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Conservative Beaner | June 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

It really is hard to doubt anyone who says the government is out to get them these days.


I normally can’t stomach Piers Morgan but he just interviewed Glenn Greenwald, the UK Guardian reporter who broke both the Verizon and PRISM stories and I am so impressed.

Will look for the clip and try to post later.

Greenwald is the real deal. A principled journalist.

FTR, it seems Greenwald broke this story, too, in the UK Guardian. WaPo is trying to restore relevance. Good luck with that.

Any techie executive who claims he/she has never heard of this is an abject liar. This is not news… Wired magazine did a great write up on this last year:

and here:

And the basic technical approach here has been used since shortly after 9/11/01… the statistical methods of machine learning, pattern recognition, network analysis, etc have been used in industry to great success in finding fraud and other purposes.

I remember shortly after 9/11/01 the Bush administration’s NSA was applying these techniques to international financial transactions and they busted some college students, in the Atlanta, GA area I seem to remember, plotting to blow up some buildings. My recollection of the details may be wrong but the fact remains that these techniques have been in use by the NSA for a long time.

And it has been a classic example of the ‘slippery slope.’ Back under Bush it was only international financial transactions, then international phone calls, and now we see it applied to everybody and all forms of communication.

But hey, trust the government to run our healthcare system, and trust them not to abuse their confiscatory powers for political purposes, right?

I just sick and tired of the government looking to see what selections I’m making on iTunes.

Henry Hawkins | June 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I see changes in the near future.

“The President has put in place an

organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before

in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.

“That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database

will have information about everything on every individual on ways that

it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the

Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with

that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get

around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very

powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

Government and government-loving progressives now control all aspects of a citizen/consumers’ life….and they’re still not satisfied. Probably won’t be until they have the power to say on which day you will be born and which day you die.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 7, 2013 at 12:09 am

ememberay olksfay,
arbagegay inway, arbagegay outway!

From reading around, the DOJ/NSA monitoring scandals have become so layered that I think they are beginning to blur together.

First, there was the FoxNews/Rosen call logs.
Then, the AP call logs.
Next, the Verizon call logs.
Then, the call logs of Verizon et al call logs.
Then, the tapping into the servers of Apple/Google/AOL/et al

(I might have the first two out of order ?)

Juba Doobai! | June 7, 2013 at 1:31 am

I copied the slides, and found that slide 3 is missing. Now, where is that slide and what’s on it?

Why did a government source leak information of this program, dubbed “PRISM,” to the Post? What follows is perhaps the most chilling paragraph I’ve read to date about U.S. government surveillance:

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy.

“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Ragspierre. | June 7, 2013 at 2:18 am

    There has long been a psychological test where some words , mostly partly spelt forming part sentences.can be filled in by the testee . The sentence

    It is marked on speed of recognition & a sense of predictive linguistics. I did very well & I am terrible at puzzles blocks & other diagnostic stuff. I beat my PHD biochem friend by a country mile .

    So it would be quite simple to apply as a program generally or individually after diagnosing a writing / speaking pattern .

Don’t worry about it, it’s for your own good. Do you think these government bureaucracies would ever use this information to suppress dissent, curtail liberty, encourage crony capitalism, influence elections, reward supporters, punish perceived political enemies, reveal damaging information, pressure decision making, and increase the control of leviathan?

RReaganConservative | June 7, 2013 at 7:07 am

Obama and his henchmen/women sycophants-Holder, Napolitano, Jarrett, Rice, Hillary, along with the dept directors, managers, and chief supervisors in every area of govt agency authority- IRS, DOJ / FBI, NSA, CIA, etc, performing what they have been directed to do from the top senior govt officials, elected and or appointed, in their abuse of govt power over private innocent US citizens, are Obama’s Democracy Gestapo, KGB, and Stasi, under the guise of legitimacy, is the tyranny that Jefferson and Madison warned about when creating the U.S. Constitution,.

These abuses of govt power and authority that are being conducted is like no other before, or since.

We the People are now face with these political parasites, the poisonous cancer on America’s internal governance, in our Republic by Obama and his henchmen/women in govt.. This is why they must all be removed from office of power and authority, period

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”
~Charles de Montesquieu~

“I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”
~President Ronald Reagan~

“If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.”
~Winston Churchill~