PRISM program is a massive surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). The PRISM program utilizes extensive data mining efforts to collect information and analyze that data for patterns of terrorist or other potential criminal activity.
PRISM: Clouded in Secrecy
PRISM has been clouded in secrecy since its creation in 2007, but it gained widespread attention recently as a result of its suspected use of data obtained from the servers of major internet companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, AOL, Skype and YouTube. This data is believed to include e-mails, documents, photographs, chats (audio and video) and connection logs of users.
Details have also been leaked that PRISM has been actively logging the telephone calls of Verizon customers – and likely customers of other telecommunications companies as well.
The PRISM surveillance program falls under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). According to the Director of U.S. National Intelligence, PRISM is operated under strict supervision and cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States.
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