How the PRISM Surveillance Works? Explained!

PRISM_logo_PNGA recently published report in USA has outlined the route it takes for PRISM to get hold of the data from different tech giants. According to the report, PRISM uses nearly all the tech giants for leaking private data of the people in U.S. and outside it. Furthermore, it says Facebook was found to be the smallest part of program. It also confirms that NSA copies all the incoming and outgoing traffic on internet in USA to collect data.

It also rejects all the rumors of PRISM having direct access to the tech giant’s data and says there is a vast different PRISM’s well organized data and unstructured data taken out from internet pipelines.

A PowerPoint slide from a newspaper includes the following words:

  • NSA analysts were encouraged to use data coming from both Prism and from the fiber-optic cables. Prism, as its name suggests, helps narrow and focus the stream.

But, how come PRISM program has been secured by law? Well, each year the attorney general sends a document to the defining all the government planing on surveillance and a judge from federal court secretly approves this. Then after, according to the section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) it becomes legal for government to gather information from different tech giants and internet pipelines.

However, tech giants doesn’t follow the instruction of NSA fully. Less then half data is only supplied by these firms in relevance in the data acquired by the NSA. The firm owners believe they are only liable to provide data that is lawful. Here is what they say: Microsoft said in a statement:

 

  • We only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers.” Google chief architect Yonatan Zunger wrote that Google only responds to “lawful, specific orders about individuals.” And Facebook revealed it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data in the second half of last year, and said “we respond only as required by law.

So, it remains to be seen whether NSA would be able gain data from these firms or not. This rivalry might become fierce as the time goes along because providing data might hurt the brand image of these firms which might not be good for them with competition in market getting intense.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.