What is PRISM Program? Here is All You Need to Know About It

Nwachukwu Glory Last updated: May 22, 2023 Read time: 18 minutes Disclosure

The post explains the PRISM program in detail to you alongside providing you with some practical ways to escape this mighty spying.

PRISM – initially a top-secret but now a reported fact, is a program of the National Security Agency (NSA) through which it gets direct access to tech companies’ servers. This way, the agency receives users’ information, including emails, SMS, videos, chat messages, browsing history, and other sensitive data. Most high-tech companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Apple are bound to give access via PRISM. Its official purpose was to facilitate the surveillance and protection of US citizens. However, it threatens the users’ privacy policy globally. Let’s dig out more about the PRISM program in this guide.

In 2013 the Washington Post revealed the existence of a secret act called the Prism program. This information was leaked by militarization, who was a private contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton.

The leak was a massive shock in the U.S and around the world. Booz Allen compiled slides detailing how the National Security Agency (NSA) body got direct access to tech servers and pulled out information.

Big tech and internet firms such as Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, Yahoo, AT&T, Google, etc. cooperate with the NSA by giving direct access to their servers. The Guardian also published similar news about the National security Agency’s privacy (NSA) intrusion. 

However, the PRISM program’s purpose was not well defined due to the Tech and Internet corporations’ constant denial and contradictions. That has led to the confusion of so many individuals and organizations that really cared about privacy.

Like we said before, the aim of the NSA PRISM program is gathering information from tech organizations. But the tech companies have been vehemently denying it. The actual objective of the Prism program and how the Government collects information is shrouded in secrecy. However, we have dug deep to provide detailed information about the PRISM program.

Some people still think that the NSA can’t wield such powers. Others believe the PRISM program is real. This article would provide you with all the information you need to know about the NSA PRISM Program.

Separating truth from the myths about the Prism Program

The PRISM program aims at gaining direct access to the communication of users. The information includes email communication, voice calls, SMS, social media communications, metadata, video calls, search preference, etc. The constitution governs this unlimited access to information by the NSA through the PRISM program.

Section 702 of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Acts), which became law in 2008, allows the Prism Program to gain direct access to the servers of Tech Companies. Since then, the United States government has drastically increased intelligent bodies’ ability to gain local and foreign information.

The intelligent bodies can investigate the retrieved information targeting terrorist, criminals, and even those not suspected of anything. Formerly the NSA was unable to obtain information from people living outside of the USA.

However, that has changed with the PRISM program formation. It does not matter what you do, where you live, whether you commit a crime or not, the NSA can access your personal information.

Why was PRISM created

Why Was PRISM Created

PRISM Act of 2007 is an electronic data collection that aims at protecting the USA according to the NSA. It was a top-secret and advanced surveillance program of the NSA.

The PRISM program had a code-named US-984XN. According to the leak presentation, the NSA claimed that it launched the program to overcome the FISA warrant’s pitfalls. The FISA warrant is in charge of tracking down and prosecuting foreign terrorists.

But court mandates were needed before they can access and investigate the information of suspected criminals. The NSA wanted to overcome this challenge and have the flexibility of tracking down anyone when the body wants. Furthermore, the NSA noted that the USA has advantages in tracking down terrorists because most of the big tech companies reside in the U.S.

Aside from having the biggest tech companies the US also has most of the internet infrastructure. Therefore the NSA took advantage of the US technological might to create the PRISM program. It targets both the sender and receiver, whether based in the US or not.

The NSA disbanded FISA because it protected some people that are not bounded by the FISA law. FISA must go to court and get orders before gaining access to the communications of foreigners. Therefore the PRISM program was formed, which was a significant upgrade to the FISA. No court order is required to gain access to information by the NSA.

The PRISM program act further gives the attorney general and the director of national intelligence the power to prosecute telecommunications companies that fail to comply with PRISM. It also indemnifies Tech and internet organizations any consequences of granting the NSA access to user’s information.

FBI acting as the intermediary