PRISM (Surveillance Program)
PRISM is a clandestine surveillance program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications of foreign nationals from at least nine major US internet companies. It was launched in 2007.
PRISM is a government code name for a data-collection effort known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN. The Prism program collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms. The NSA can use these Prism requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the Internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier, and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things.
PRISM was publicly revealed when classified documents about the program were leaked to journalists of The Washington Post and The Guardian by …
The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including Microsoft in 2007, Yahoo! in 2008, Google in 2009, Facebook in 2009, Paltalk in 2009, YouTube in 2010, AOL in 2011, Skype in 2011 and Apple in 2012. The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft”.