US officials say PRISM surveillance program helped prevent terrorist plots in more than 20 countries

NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland Headquarters

US intelligence officials sent Congress a document over the weekend in regards to recently discovered PRISM mass surveillance program. The Senate Intelligence Committee made the document public in an attempt to explain the massive government data collection program which was recently uncovered.

According to the Associated Press, the intelligence officials hope to “show Americans the value of the program.” As such, they’ve clearly outlined that the program obtained through what we now know as PRISM, helped agencies prevent terrorist plots in more than 20 different countries. In addition, the phone metadata that was so openly discussed in another leak, was only searched less than 300 times within the database. Furthermore, the metadata records can only be examined for “suspected connections to terrorism.” In case you’re wondering, those records contain information like call times, and duration.

Information collected through PRISM must be deleted after five years, and the programs are reviewed every 90 days by a secret court. The court proceedings are apparently authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

For more information on the situation be sure to check out the source link below.

[via Associated Press]

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6 comments

  1. kevbo

    Two terms from George Orwell’s 1984 come to mind when reading this and other articles which try to rationalize and mitigate the heinous undermining of one of our most cherished and important freedoms, our freedom of thought:

    newspeak – deliberately ambiguous and contradictory language used to mislead and manipulate the public.(The American Heritage Dictionary)

    crimestop – the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought…of not grasping analogies…of failing to perceive logical errors…and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.(George Orwell, 1984)

    Protective stupidity. Is there a more concise explanation of what is currently going on with this government.

  2. Kelltic

    Ohhhh. We have a Secret Court. Wellllll, that just makes it all OK.

    The most horrible thing of all is that no one will do anything about it. The government took all the power away from the People a long time ago and nobody even noticed. Now they stomp all over our rights and snip them away, a little bit here, a little bit there – and nobody pays any attention. People are too busy with their iPhones and iPads and social networking.

    I agree with the above poster, Louis, my government has become the terrorist I fear.

  3. Louis

    If you give ten thousand monkeys a typewriter, sooner of later one of them will type a piece of Shakespeare, it’s the law of averages at work.

    If you give a lot of (slightly) higher trained monkeys free access to listen / collect and read / analyze millions upon millions of innocent private individuals’ personal conversations / correspondence, sooner or later these trained monkeys MAY stumble across something that may, with a lot of extra work, lead to catching or MAYBE stopping a POSSIBLE terrorist attack (be sure we won’t ever hear about the maybe’s).

    To me, this is a hoax, a gigantic scam, a bottomless pit in which ordinary hard-working and honest citizens’ hard-earned tax money is being abused by using it against them, rather than as claimed, “to catch terrorists”.

    We do not like trained monkeys, Mr NSA. We suggest you retrain your personnel, with your citizens’ tax money, in proper anti-terrorist prevention and -detection skills, instead of relying on technology, the convenient smokescreen to spy on your own, instead of outwards.With all the unbreakable encryption at their disposal, how the heck do you think you’ll ever be successful. And while you’re at it, pull that dollar sucking submarine off the ocean floor, before it gets snagged in the Internet backbone cable, and use your tax money more effectively.

    We of the whole Western world are fed-up with your cowardly lies. We demand you back off off our personal data, even if we aren’t Americans, just because we use services from American companies (there won’t be much left of your super-successful companies if non-Americans stop using their services, or stop buying their items), and become the deterrent you’re supposed to be.

    Or hit the road, Jack, and let someone more able take over, for you’re on the wrong track, and can’t find your way back to proper intelligence work.

    And screw your secret court, while you’re at it. Feet and eyes on the ground, ‘sir’, and close co-operation with the community, is how the intelligence services will deter terrorism.

    Leave the technical stuff to the Pentagon, they have enough gadgets and funding to take care of that part of inland security, you just return to your roots and act like the agents you’re supposed to be.

    Invading my privacy in itself is just as much an act of terrorism against me if it comes from you, than it is coming from anywhere or anyone else.