NSA computers. (photo: Paul J. Richards/Getty Images)
Dan Froomkin | The Intercept | Reader Supported News | April 23, 2016
bipartisan group of lawmakers is none too happy that the executive branch is asking them to reauthorize two key surveillance programs next year without answering the single most important question about them.
The programs, authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are called PRISM and Upstream. PRISM collects hundreds of millions of internet communications of “targeted individuals” from providers such as Facebook, Yahoo, and Skype. Upstream takes communications straight from the major U.S. internet backbones run by telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Verizon and harvests data that involves selectors related to foreign targets.
But both programs, though nominally targeted at foreigners overseas, inevitably sweep up massive amounts of data involving innocent Americans.