We haven’t seen (and likely will never see) all of the NSA slides former Booz Allen employee Edward Snowden shared with the Guardian-UK and the Washington Post. But the few that we have seen shared by these two news outlets tell us a lot — even content we might expect to see but don’t tells us something.
First, let’s compare what appears to be the title slide of the presentation — the Guardian’s version first, followed by the WaPo’s version. You’d think on the face of it they’d be the same, but they aren’t.Note the name of the preparer or presenter has been redacted on both versions; however, the Guardian retains the title of this person, “PRISM Collection Manager, S35333,” while the WaPo completely redacts both name and title.
This suggests there’s an entire department for this program requiring at least one manager. There are a number of folks who are plugging away at this without uttering a peep.
More importantly, they are working on collection — not exclusively on search.
The boldface reference to “The SIGAD Used Most in NSA Reporting” suggests there are more than the PRISM in use as SIGINT Activity Designator tools. What’s not clear from this slide is whether PRISM is a subset of US-984XN or whether PRISM is one-for-one the same as US-984XN.
Regardless of whether PRISM is inside or all of US-984XN, the presentation addresses the program “used most” for reporting; can we conclude that reporting means the culled output of mass collection? Read more