The Associated Press dropped a bombshell report yesterday that claims the NSA’s secret Internet spy program Prism is just a small part of a much more “expansive and intrusive” digital spying effort.
According to the AP, the NSA copies ALL INTERNET traffic in and out of the United States for analysis by hoovering all data that passes through fiber lines.
“Tapping into those cables allows the NSA access to monitor emails, telephone calls, video chats, websites, bank transactions and more. It takes powerful computers to decrypt, store and analyze all this information, but the information is all there, zipping by at the speed of light,” AP reports.
Prism was originally thought to be a program to force Internet companies to hand over private user data to the government. But it turns out that Prism is actually a filtering tool to “make sense of the cacophony of the Internet’s raw feed…Prism takes large beams of data and helps the government find discrete, manageable strands of information.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
This is precisely the power Edward Snowden, as an analyst working for the private NSA contract Booz Allen Hamilton, claimed to have in his interview with The Guardian.
Weren’t we supposed to have a transparent government with individual privacy for citizens?