Talk:PRISM (surveillance program)/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2


More breaking news: Snowden Q&A

"Edward Snowden Q&A: Dick Cheney traitor charge is 'the highest honor'". The Guardian. June 17, 2013. 

It's a primary source but a fascinating read, and it will be heavily covered in the press tomorrow. --Nstrauss (talk) 20:21, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Is Wikimedia concerned, too ?

Does anybody know whether Wikimedia or one of its sister projects is affected by PRISM ? I am wondering whether NSA wants to know the e-mail addresses of all Wikimedia users. See also Commons talk:Privacy policy#PRISM. --Bautsch (talk) 11:03, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

See --agr (talk) 13:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
And --Nstrauss (talk) 17:44, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Tangentially related: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on the NSA leaks Dezastru (talk) 18:37, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks; good info in a short interview and I think directly related; Jimbo seems to me to be saying that SSL encryption will soon be the norm ON Wikipedia and elsewhere and that PRISM type peeping toms won't be able to get off by spying on people's private activities. May122013 (talk) 23:02, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Intelligence agencies like the NSA employ lots of mathematicians and they can break codes, and likewise break the encryption. However this is still a good move as it frustrates it and alone can make less experienced intelligence agencies unwilling to spy on connections. WhisperToMe (talk) 01:03, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Effect on Obama approval rating

An editor removed information from this resource due to concerns about recentism:

Perhaps it can be seen as "recentish" now, but I think there will be more articles on how this impacts Obama's approval rating/perception as a president, and so we should keep this as a note, and revisit it later when more sources come out WhisperToMe (talk) 19:33, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

No, just because there are multiple sources reporting on a subject doesn't mean it's not recentism. Polls go up and down. Ten years from now no one will care that a week or two after the disclosures the polls were down 4%. If this becomes a turning point in Obama's presidency then that's another matter, but that hasn't happened yet. --Nstrauss (talk) 21:08, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Well if more sources come out there is a higher likelihood of a "turning point" being exposed or a conclusion that the PRISM reveal did not have a significant effect on Obama's popularity. Either way, we have a significant aspect. If there are multiple sources but they all say "it's 4%" and have hardly any analysis then it's just recentism. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:47, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

More on Obama approval ratings published today. Dezastru (talk) 23:04, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Full citation: Cillizza, Chris. "The remarkable consistency of President Obama’s job approval numbers." Washington Post. June 19, 2013. -- It argues that the numbers have not significantly changed despite many scandals. WhisperToMe (talk) 00:22, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

There hasn't been a turning point until reliable sources say there's been a turning point. --Nstrauss (talk) 16:57, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Don't worry, I'm not only aware of that, but I'm also aware it's a work in progress. A "lack of a turning point" would also be significant, as in "the response by the public was anemic" WhisperToMe (talk) 18:46, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps, depending on what was reported in the source. --Nstrauss (talk) 21:24, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The Guardian article on NSA surveillance as it relates to Arab Americans

Anna Lekas Miller wrote the following article: Miller, Anna Lekas. "If your name is Ahmed or Fatima, you live in fear of NSA surveillance." The Guardian. Wednesday 19 June 2013. Retrieved on 20 June 2013.

I do not know if she is Palestinian. I have this there so editors have a list of resources in case this becomes something bigger. WhisperToMe (talk) 14:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I was the person that reverted your edit. I think she is an American living in Palestine. Your edit used her piece to discuss a potential outcome of the of the PRISM program. An article about the potential ramifications of PRISM on a British website by an expat living in Palestine does not seem to fit under "Domestic Response." What does "in case this becomes bigger" refer to? PRISM? Me removing your edit? DouglasCalvert (talk) 15:22, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I mean the implications of Arab Americans. Even though the piece was posted on a British website, it's about the potential ramifications of PRISM affecting Arab Americans and Muslim Americans - which would be domestic. If the surveillance programs cause more concern among Arab Americans or Muslim Americans, it would become bigger. WhisperToMe (talk) 18:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You do understand why I thought "potential ramifications" did not fit into a section on "Domestic Ressponse"? Potential ramifications are forward looking whereas domestic response describes things that have already happened. DouglasCalvert (talk) 22:12, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
In that case it sounds fair. I'll wait and see what else comes up related to the subject WhisperToMe (talk) 22:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Clapper is NOT a reliable source

The following language was/is in the lead section:

According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum.[16] Clapper issued a statement and "fact sheet"[17] to correct what he characterized as "significant misimpressions" in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.[18]

I removed it with the comment: "remove Clapper as not reliable even with attribution due to WP:PRIMARY and prior perjury. Statements from Obama or other officials would be more appropriate."

Somedifferentstuff reverted with the comment: "What are you doing? There is no violation of WP:Primary. Every source here is secondary except for the fact sheet which is attributed."

Clapper's statements and the fact sheet are indeed primary sources. They're accounts by a person directly involved in the issue. Primary sources must not only be attributed but they "may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge." As indicated by discussions above and the edit history of this article, Clapper's statements were added to the lead not to explain the government's formal position on PRISM but to add "balance" to reliably sources, i.e. news stories by the WaPo and the Guardian. In contrast, Clapper's statements are not at all reliable. Aside from him being a highly interested (i.e. biased) party, he's perjured himself on this very subject. We simply cannot lean on his statements, especially in such a prominent place as the lead, without explaining this. Otherwise we're giving equal weight between his statements and the WaPo and Guardian, which is WAY out of WP:BALANCE.

If the decision is to give some voice to the government in the lead then we would be much better referencing other officials such as... President Obama perhaps? --Nstrauss (talk) 19:16, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

You have a clear bias against Clapper. The 3 sources are here: [1][2][3]. Aside from the "fact sheet", they are all published secondary sources. Since everything stated by him is attributed, Wikipedia policy denotes, "Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation." There is no violation here as no interpretation has taken place. As the Director of National Intelligence his view carries substantial weight, which is one of the reasons why it was picked up by so many media outlets. Regarding his testimony to the Senate in March, that is not the material being used in this article. And the last sentence of the third paragraph provides neutrality when set against the last sentence of the first paragraph. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 01:33, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Would you trust Bill Clinton to tell you what happened in the Oval Office with Monica? Would you trust Madoff to tell you what happened with the investments he made off with? Of course not. We wouldn't "balance" (or attempt to "provide neutrality" against) news reporting by established media outlets with statements why these people. Why? Because they have a proven track record of lying on those subjects. Clapper is no difference. So yes, I have a bias against Clapper, as should any responsible reader/editor. We must assess the reliability of his statements based on context, which includes his honesty (or lack thereof) in the past. But the real bottom line is, why not substitute his statements with those of other officials who don't have the same credibility issues? That would solve the WP:BALANCE issues (which I share). --Nstrauss (talk) 04:08, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree that Clapper's remarks should not be in the lede. May122013 (talk) 14:26, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

In any controversy about the actions of an organization, that organization's response belongs in the intro per NOPV. We need reliable sources to verify that the response is indeed the official response of the organization, but it is not for us to judge the credibility of the response. As long as the response is clearly attributed, our readers can make that judgement.--agr (talk) 17:17, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that's true in all cases, but even if it is I don't see why we can't substitute Clapper's statements with a different official's. The way things are now our article might be read as endorsing Clapper as a legitimate spokesperson when there are serious, verifiable doubts about the veracity of his statements. --Nstrauss (talk) 18:42, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps Obama would be better than Clapper for the lede, as has been previously suggested; I think that's a good way to go. May122013 (talk) 19:01, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Done (yesterday). --Nstrauss (talk) 18:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Additional sources on British press and NSA programs, and opinion by Mark Sweney

Three sources:

WhisperToMe (talk) 05:38, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Opinion from Ron Paul

What is the reason Ron Paul's opinion should be included? [4] Widefox; talk 17:23, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Ron Paul is the current unofficial leader of the American libertarianism. He has millions of devoted followers. The fact that he doesn't currently hold an elected office is of little moment. His opinions carry more weight than most of the other opiners in the "domestic reaction" section. --Nstrauss (talk) 17:54, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
why not? It has a radically opposite point of view, if compared to the bipartisan establishment.
and why is it useful to include the opinions of the author of "The Wire" ?
btw, Ron Paul is seen worldwide as the only alternative (aka opposition) to Bush-Obama political agendas.
I'm from Italy and i can say that from outside the US the political scenario appear like this:
There's the "bipolarism party" in the US, it's composed by 2 political right-wing factions (republican and democrats). These factions have the very same :political program.
So, if opinions should be included here, at least let's put also some opposition* opinion.
  • (opposition in the US means: outside the Democratic/Republican party agenda: aka "left-wing")
Ron Paul has been a Republican candidate, but he was different and the opposite of the other republicans and was in total contrast with the official :"Republican party agenda", indeed he's "libertarian".
can you say the same ("leftist") about some FOX tv anchormen guys or some tv series producers/authors?
I dont think so.
As EU citizen i think people here dont g*ve a f**k about the "TV people' opinions" or Obama/McCain/Bush/etc opinions, we already got enough of those POV: :everybody already knows about the political opinions of those people.
I think that "establishment propaganda" is ok to put in a wiki article, but we also need to compensate/balance with some Critical Thinking
example: Two people from two opposite political parties express the very same opinion: It is unuseful!
It's way better to post the opinion of two people expressing very different opinions. (talk) 17:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Good. As long as we consider WP:WEIGHT, especially the size and position (in the article) of his opinion, in the context of US and world opinions. Widefox; talk 18:39, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Lack of information about dutch/belgian involvement

The article seems to be lacking information about the Netherland's leaks revealing it taking part in Prism, Belgium too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Please find sources describing such involvement WhisperToMe (talk) 18:15, 17 June 2013 (UTC) (talk) 20:21, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for finding this! I checked out and it seems like Dutch News would be an RS. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:04, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Changes to internet website traffic

On the DuckDuckGo page I added:

Does this fit under domestic response... or should it be a new section? WhisperToMe (talk) 22:46, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

It may be noteworthy for the DuckDuckGo article but not for this one. It's only tangentially related to the subject and it's yet another example of WP:RECENTISM. --Nstrauss (talk) 17:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Note the source, South China Morning Post. That is a Hong Kong-based news media source. The U.S. is currently in the process of trying to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong. Remember that Hong Kong is a fully-owned territorial possession of China. I'm not denigrating the legitimacy of South China Morning Post. In fact, since Snowden is in Hong Kong (as far as I know), it is likely to be a very good source! But that depends on what subject matter they are covering. Website traffic trends are notoriously difficult to gauge. Criteria varies widely, even according to presumably credible sources. SEO types can vouch for that. I really like DuckDuckGo as a search engine. If that is correct, that it only had 1.8 milion direct searches during the entire month of May, I will be very sad, as it is such a small number. More significant, per your quote, WhisperToMe:
"On Monday July 17, 2013, it had three million daily direct searches."
That's the wrong month. Today is 22 June 2013. At the very minimum, that warrants additional scrutiny. --FeralOink (talk) 02:32, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Feral: Oops! "July" was a typo on my end (I meant June). I did a text search on the article and "July" appears nowhere. The article directly states that, according to the website's Twitter account, it had 1.8 million direct searches in all of May, but that it had three million daily direct searches on the day of June 17 2013. Quote from article: "The website said on Monday that it hit a daily average of three million direct searches; it recorded only 1.8 million direct searches for the entire month of May. DuckDuckGo posted the figures on Twitter:" WhisperToMe (talk) 02:39, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Sources about opinions on the surveillance system overall

Sources that could be useful:

WhisperToMe (talk) 07:30, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Protection removal

As i said here: i ask for the removal of protection for this page, 'cause its locking was based on clumsy excuses. (talk) 12:04, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Make a request, and WP editors will assist you; or better still become an editor yourself. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 15:13, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
The IP's suggestions have been considered and rejected by the community. It's time to move on. --Nstrauss (talk) 16:33, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Google backdoor? WT* ?

The point, here:, is that nobody asked Google about a backdoor, and also PRISM's not about "backdoors". A backdoor is usually something that a developer put inside the code of a program so that it can access that program without alerting the legitimate user. In this case (PRISM) there's nothing like backdoors because the firms (Google/FB/etc) are the maintainer of those systems.

It's stupid to think that they'll put backdoors in their own systems to allow access to somebody else. The only option that make sense could be they (Google/FB/etc) allowing direct (not hidden, aka not backdoor) access to their system, letting the NSA use the very same interfaces that their (Google/FB/etc) sysadmins use every day to do maintenance of the system.

Backdoor is the bad term because it means something hidden, and this (PRISM) is not the case since Google/FB/etc are accused of being well informed and of collaborationism with the NSA.

Like for example the AT&T case with NSA rooms copying traffic some (5 or 6) years ago: Was it a "backdoor" ?!? obviously NO! it was an entire room and AT&T was aware of that.

Ok i can change that sentence and put "although a backdoor is not a necessary requisite to grant the government that kind of access". (talk) 18:23, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Please find a source for this WP:OR / your own opinion. This has been removed by at least two editors several times, rewording it doesn't help. Widefox; talk 18:43, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
According to the public statements by most of the companies involved the NSA has no direct access to user's private information. I believe that Google, Twitter and Facebook (I am less sure about Microsoft, PalTalk, Yahoo or Apple) only respond to properly issued warrants, and these do not give access to users information to anyone. These companies are under gag orders for some of these warrants, meaning they they cannot be made public for them to prove their point, but this still doesn't give the NSA or any other government agency access to all user's information. To claim otherwise, it seems to me, that you need further corroborating evidence. A leaked power-point doesn't cut it. It is obvious there is a dispute about the reach of the NSA into user data -- but the most plausible explanation so far is that the power-point presentation in question is either wrong, or it is not saying what people think it is saying. The problem is that even my analysis here is WP:OR. But either way, if you want to make claims about the NSA having unrestricted access to these company's user data, the onus is on you to substantiate this beyond a mere power-point slide. 2620:0:1000:2602:BE30:5BFF:FEDB:B96 (talk) 00:27, 29 June 2013 (UTC), please stop edit warring and you might be taken more seriously. If you continue to engage edit warring you might be blocked. --Nstrauss (talk) 18:56, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

on WP: Backdoor (computing), a hidden method for bypassing normal computer authentication systems
A backdoor in a computer system (or cryptosystem or algorithm) is a method of bypassing normal authentication, securing illegal remote access to a computer, obtaining access to plaintext, and so on, while attempting to remain undetected
Should i go on quoting?
If the system is YOURS you can't hide that access to yourself. Google owns its own systems. Why on earth should Google negate ( hide from its own eyes) that it's granting access to the gov (aka someone else).
Paradoxically, Google is aggravating the NSA scandal: if they say "we've not put a backdoor in our systems" and at the same time they also say "we gave no access to the NSA", it's like saying that the NSA backdoored the Google systems (aka "no collaboration from Google", aka "abusive and more criminal conduct by the NSA")
I can re-insert that info, adding some source link about what a backdoor is.

<ref>[ "Computer Security - Protecting digital Resources", ISBN 978-0763759940, Robert C. Newman, Februar 2009, Pg. 49]: "Backdoor software tools allow an intruder to access a computer using an alternate entry method. Wheras legitimeate users log in through '''front doors''' using a userid and password, '''attackers use backdoors to bypass these normal access controls.''' [...]",</ref> (as found on ) (talk) 19:14, 21 June 2013 (UTC), Wikipedia works by consensus. Please stop re-adding the "Google backdoor" material until consensus has been reached here. If you continue edit-warring you will be blocked. See WP:EW. --Nstrauss (talk) 19:35, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

The best way to resolve this,, is to see if a newspaper source makes this exact argument (you want to avoid accusations of WP:Synthesis, meaning editorial synthesis of two sources that don't make Point B in order to claim Point B) - Check the American, British, Hong Kong, and other newspapers WhisperToMe (talk) 19:37, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Is this sarcasm (aka "Are you joking?) or shall i really hope to find a newspaper pointing a so obvious thing? What google said in that sentences go *exactly* against the very same definition of "backdoor" (i also posted the definition, what else should i do to make you understand this?)
It is not "Original Research" since the source (the one containing the definition of backdoor) clearly shows:
  1. google's PR people incompetence (since they work for an IT firm but they don't even know some basic facts, like what backdoor means)
  1. google's deliberately talking BS, hoping to calm people down, maybe 'cause G. thinks people dont know what a backdoor is.
To explain the backdoor meaning is useful, because it shows that Google is trying to avoid to answer the (real) interrogatives.
Nobody ever used the term 'backdoor' about google-NSA collaboration. It is clear that the accusations that comes out from the scandal documents are about full collaboration between firms and agency.
This means that NO backdoor is possible, 'cause usually (always) one can use a backdoor to gain access in a clandestine way (without the consent of the owner of the computer system) to somebody else system. But if the owner wants to give you the access it simply gives it to you (obviously) 'without using a backdoor.
The only fact that they (Google) introduce the term "backdoor" is 'strange', and they say:

"[...] that we have created a government ‘back door' into our systems," Are they negating the presente of the backdoor or the authorship of such a backdoor?

" but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data." Do they have a backdoor for other uses? Or do they allow the gov to access private user data via other means ( NOT via backdoor) ?

"[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users' Internet activity on such a scale is completely false." Also this is misleading. If the NSA, according to leaked infos, had complete access to the "information about the users", there is no need for Google to "disclose" (aka "give" ) such infos to the NSA. Since the NSA has that kind of (complete) access, it (NSA) can simply get the infos by itself, without asking google each time it (NSA) wants some infos. (talk) 20:15, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I think i can haz conzenzus now.
Since there're no complains (the last post of Nstrauss edit warrior was at 19:14 and now it's 21 o'clock) and there was no valid motivation to the previous removal of information, i replace those sentences were they were. (talk) 21:03, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
This material clearly violates WP:OR and specifically WP:SYNTH., you may consider these statements "obvious," but I don't, I suspect Widefox and WhisperToMe don't, and neither will most readers. This is definitely not an example of "the sky is blue." You'll have to find reliable sources that support these statements directly. And no, you definitely do not have consensus, so please remove the offending material immediately.--Nstrauss (talk) 21:08, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
There IS consensus, since you have find no clear explanation in support to your view. Tell me how those Google sentences fit in the definition of "backdoor".
In those words they clearly state that they "have not put a backdoor" on their own servers.
How can that even make sense?
please explain.
I'm still waiting (since 18:56).
This is clearly a "Sky is blue" case. (talk) 21:24, 21 June 2013 (UTC)



As you also said here:
"I'm not even going to dignify you with a reason"
I'm (no more) going to dignify you with more reasons , and i'm not removing that info, until YOU give me a valid reason for that info-removal.
Consensus doesnt mean that i write something and then you come here deleting it without "dignify me with a reason".
for info-removal the first rule is: REASONS before!
i'll came back here discussing as soon i see a valid reason that will prove that "sky is not blue" or that "self-backdooring is a common practice in IT corporations"
bye (talk) 21:38, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

No explanation until you remove the offending language, sorry. --Nstrauss (talk) 21:27, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
What kind of "offending language"? i've only written one time after your post at 21:08 (talk) 21:41, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Everything you've added about Google. --Nstrauss (talk) 21:50, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
seriously, are we playing a quiz show now? (talk) 22:15, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

This is totally out of control! The following is conjecture, like the sort that people engage in, in forums and comments sections:

"google's PR people incompetence (since they work for an IT firm but they don't even know some basic facts, like what backdoor means) or google's deliberately talking BS, hoping to calm people down..."

It shouldn't be the basis for an encyclopedia article. Also, stop saying that Google is a "collaborator" with the NSA! The NSA is a U.S. Federal government agency, and Google is incorporated in the U.S.A., as well as having its servers (some of them), under U.S. government jurisdiction. Until stated otherwise by Rule of Law and due process, Google is law abiding and so is the NSA. It is misleading and inaccurate to write anything to the contrary, not here. We still don't know what happened, this is an ongoing event, and anyone who reads this article should not be inadvertently deceived by content alleging that Google or the NSA have been charged with criminal misconduct. The entire back doors thing is still conjecture, as we STILL don't really know what Prism (PRISM?) is. --FeralOink (talk) 03:30, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

@FeralOink: (OT: are you saying that google is collaborationist with NSA? Nothing wrong if you say that. You also stated the real thing: "Google is a corporation with almost all its servers [99%?] in the US and the NSA has authority on those servers. So what's strange in saying that? also you post says that!)
Have you (AT LEAST!) read the definition of backdoor? Please try to read it, maybe you'll understand why the google claims about "backdoors" are pure nonsense. (talk) 17:24, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
That is not our judgment to make. --Nstrauss (talk) 17:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
It is. Please talk for yourself when you write that. If you don't understand the meaning of backdoor it's not other users fault.
The declarations, as i said before, totally contrast with the definition of backdoor.
Ok. I'll wait to see if someone else, that knows (at least) a bit of computing, has an opinion about this fact. (talk) 17:32, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Article title

I was wondering what other editors thought about the title of the article. The program is called PRISM but that is just a redirect to PRISM (surveillance program). But yeah, I was just curious what everyone else thought. Cheers, — -dainomite   20:33, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I, for one, think that for now the title and redirect is just fine. I like to think of 'Prism' (lowercase) as the NSA program of surveillance. And I like to think of 'PRISM' (uppercase) as the tool for culling important communication via data mining. Until it is all sorted out (the Edward Snowden episodes) everyone attaches the terms Prism/PRISM to secret surveillance. Hence, the article title is just fine. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 22:46, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Please add another "see also"

Page is not protected now. RudolfRed (talk) 01:52, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Looking for related articles

Does anyone know if there are Wikipedia articles for the surveillance scandals involving the the Maryland State police (2008) [7] or the NYPD (2012) [8]? (talk) 10:52, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Foreign nationals

The reality of treating foreign nationals as terrorist targets by PRISM allows the NSA to forcible confine individuals for internal affairs and this allegedly could be broadened to include US citizens.[1]


  1. ^ "The Suspension of Habeas Corpus in America". Jean-Claude Paye, Centre for Research on Globalization / Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation. June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Fatum81 (talkcontribs) 01:57, 9 June 2013‎ (UTC)

Breaking news: WaPo story

Here's a HUGE new story that just came out and puts a lot of stuff into perspective: Gellman, Barton (June 16, 2013). "U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata". Washington Post.  Mandatory reading for anyone working on this article or anything related.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nstrauss (talkcontribs) 07:27, 17 June 2013‎ (UTC)

Edit request on 23 June 2013

The photo showing that the company Apple is a provider for PRISM is incorrect. (talk) 21:14, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Not done According to whom? Do you have a source saying that? Widefox; talk 22:01, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Hahahaha. --BurritoBazooka (talk) 01:58, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Additional slides show apple is indeed a PRISM provider. Apple case notations start with "PA" -- (talk) 02:16, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

4 new slides from the WaPo

This brings the total to 8.

Some things to note: the surveillance and "stored comms" chosen by the analyst may happen prior to FISA or "S2 FAA Adjuticators" (slide 1)

Prism Case notations explainer.

(slide 3) -- (talk) 02:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Bad Poll

Could someone please remove the edits of "19:50, 27 June 2013‎ Someone not using his real name"? I believe he/she put some webpoll there to make Prism-scandal more 'digestible' for people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

It's a poll by CNN/ORC; full doc for it is here; see q 19. Quite reliable methodology ("A total of 1,014 adults were interviewed by telephone nationwide by live interviewers calling both landline and cell phones. All respondents were asked questions concerning basic demographics, and the entire sample was weighted to reflect national Census figures for gender, race, age, education, region of country, and telephone usage.") Obviously not at all a webpoll. The question was rather complex though. I've moved it down in the article and added the full text of the question. Someone not using his real name (talk) 00:38, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The section should be expanded with the other polls, because there have been more than one according to [9]: "Poll after poll suggests that Americans support the NSA's surveillance tools. But, as demonstrated in a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News this morning, we are also aware that there are significant details about the programs which remain unclear — 65 percent of Americans want public hearings on their use." Feel free to contribute. Someone not using his real name (talk) 00:51, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

updated wash post

[10] is any of this new and notable? May122013 (talk) 02:10, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes! four of those are new.

-- (talk) 02:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

"Very interesting!" — TNKS, Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 03:15, 1 July 2013 (UTC)


I have to go off-line now, but this should be covered. Someone not using his real name (talk) 23:14, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Good eye! I'm reading the article now. Interesting that UK media reports before US media! To wit: "New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies. Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets including EU, France and Italy. Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics [11]Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 03:31, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Central Article

Folks, I really think we need to have one central 2013 NSA leaks article, which links all of the ones that have been created and expanded ever since the Guardian began punlishing on June 6.

BigSteve (talk) 08:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that what we have at Edward Snowden#Media disclosures? --Nstrauss (talk) 18:40, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Good point. These two articles are closely related, yet properly separated: (PRISM and Edward Snowden) — Good work, Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 23:30, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Is PRISM an acronym?

Why is it all caps? Some other reason? It should be noted in the article somewhere... Hires an editor (talk) 20:55, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Sources, including worldwide services, are beginning to say "Prism" which also implies it is not an acronym. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 02:16, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

It's probably an acronym whose definition has not been declassified/leaked. Stephen Colbert said it stands for "Planning tool for Resource Integration Synchronization Management", but a RAND report says that this definition is for a different program named PRISM. See this reference. Victor Victoria (talk) 12:28, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
The slide set that was the source of the name and logo also bears a reference to PRISMFAA which in turn leads to information about the software program used by the FAA, from a company called Compusearch -- which definitely provides software to US Government agencies. The US Government factsheet says "PRISM" is the name of the computer system -- and there is no evidence to the contrary. Of course it is likely that the basic software has been modified and customized for the NSA's use, but it makes sense that they would use an existing software app. Compusearch capitalizes PRISM but the page I linked to doesn't explain the acronym. The software is designed to support grants management and requisitioning -- a different function - but it's quite possible that the basic structure of the software could be adapted and repurposed for the NSA's need. In a sense, the return of data sought via a National Security letter or FISA warrant could be seen as a "requisitioning" task. Syncalin (talk) 22:18, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
FAA in this context appears to be a NSA organization or program, not the Federal Aviation Administration. One slide is labeled "FAA702 Operations." Prism is a common enough name. There is no reason to believe the Compusearch software has anything to do with the NSA PRISM program.--agr (talk) 04:26, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
You are right -- the software does not appear to be the Compusearch program as I thought, but rather the military intelligence application developed by SAIC (described at page 13 of their annual report at ) -- and described in the section of the Army Field Manual here: -- so I was mistaken as to which software it was, but I think it's pretty clear that the software program in question does exactly what is summarized on the slides Syncalin (talk) 11:43, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I think we can be fairly confident at this point that Prism is not an acronym. It possibly refers to splitting Internet trunk lines in two, with one branch going to the NSA. (That idea might be meant as a metaphor; Snowden has not leaked how Prism is implemented.) As for the all caps, the DOD has a predilection for those.
I agree that sources have stopped using all caps for "Prism". The Guardian, which is the main outlet for this story, uses "Prism", and so does the New York Times, America's paper of record. The Washington Post, which also broke the story, is still using all caps, but it is close to DOD types, after all.
I propose that Wikipedia stop using all caps for "Prism". All caps look very grating to the contemporary eye: for example Unix, which also is not an acronym, was also originally written in all caps, but is not anymore. – Herzen (talk) 21:35, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
You can't discount WaPo because it's "close to DOD types." If anything that makes WaPo a more reliable source. The fact is that WaPo and the Guardian are the most reliable sources, as they've been working on the story longer and have access to Snowden and more documents that haven't been revealed. Since they're split on this it seems to me that both "Prism" and "PRISM" are correct at this point. --Nstrauss (talk) 21:52, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Why PRISM is written in capital letters if it is not an acronym ? I guess it is "Program of Internet Surveillance and Monitoring", but there are not hits by Google so far - it is just a secret programme. --Bautsch (talk) 10:59, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
And even USA PATRIOT Act is an acronym ! --Bautsch (talk) 11:10, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
The DoD has an acronym for everything. Basically a penny of every federal tax dollar goes to bureaucrats trying to think up [cool | lame] acronyms. --Nstrauss (talk) 17:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

CNET claims: "Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management": see What is the NSA's PRISM program? (FAQ) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bautsch (talkcontribs) 16:56, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

What the Prism people call themselves should be given top precedence — look at the top of this article to see the logo: "PRISM". And the CNET claim just noted seems right. Thanks, Bautsch! [CAPS-answer is "good enough for government work"] ;-)  :-) — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 00:23, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

What's in a name (and logo diagram)? While the article is to not include original thought (one Wikipedia founder thinks this is a WP weakness) we can use the TALK page here for connecting the dots, so to speak. And if 'Prism' refers to the effort, and 'PRISM' refers to the tool of the effort, what can be made of the choice of the logo and codename? Suppose it is not about the letters forming an acronym but rather the physics of prism-optics? Editors can watch for information about Prism/PRISM taking the information stream of all bandwidth in USA/world and splitting it to interested departments of national interest, such as the IRS, DHS, NCS, CIA, WH. Just a concept to watch for and which explains better than searching for an acronym. We didn't find one. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 10:53, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I think this article is too much following the sensational story of The Guardian. The US government, the involved internet companies and a number of IT and intelligence specialists say that PRISM is more of a intelligence management system, than a raw data collecting platform. The Washington Post, which initially broke with the same story as The Guardian, has already stepped back from the initial claims. See for example: How did mainstream media get the NSA PRISM story so hopelessly wrong?. Also PRISM is either an acrynom, or a nickname, not a codeword. Military and intelligence codewords are classified (there are no classified acronyms), which apparently isn't the case here. Therefore it's likely to be a nickname. But as there's also the acronym PRISM (expanding to "Planning tool for Resource, Integration, Synchronization, and Management"), which is a widely used military and intelligence web tool, is also possible that the PRISM of the Guardian is even one and the same thing as this webtool, see for example: Is PRISM just a not-so-secret web tool?. Considerations like this are now only mentioned in "note 1", but I think it should be part of the main text of the article. Greetings, P2Peter (talk) 18:30, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I think the title "Prism" is simply inspired from this image about the working of the Naurus Nsystem : — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Eh - Prism is a commercial product from Voxeo Labs that does at NSA exactly what it is intended for... ok, maybe its slightly modified... ;) see here: I read this that often across the web that I even don't remember where I first encountered it... --Jussty (talk) 15:46, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Another Wikipedia article is rising to cover public protest

I added a new section/paragraph to Restore_the_Fourth {Amendment} since there were 10,000 protestors across USA yesterday, Independence Day. To wit: To get back to the "original intent" of the Constitution can be Republican, Democrat, Independent, Conservative, or Liberal; even Libertarian or Green. For example, Liberals and Conservatives both do not like the government spying on citizen eMail to an intrusive extent. Hence the protest against the NSA Utah Data Center by a small group of Restore the Fourth people. [12] and [13] "The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Concluding what is reasonable is at the center of the national debate over the NSA's data seizure ..." according to the protestors today. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 14:07, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Kim Dotcom

I removed the Kim Dotcom's quote as I felt his opinion was no more notable than any other tech entrepreneur's. added it back with the comment: "Kim Dotcom 's notable since the PRISM program is not only about mass surveillance: It's also about economic/industrial spionage/operations. Eliminating KimD. they advantage US firms vs non US ones." A follow-up comment by the same editor said: "Btw the problem is not only the snooping of communications between K.Dotcom and that firm. Problem is also the manipulation (*alteration*) (by Nsa) of such communications. (that's what PRISM is all about)).", if you can support any of those assertions with reliable sources then we should add them to the article right away. If you can't, then you shouldn't be using them to support the inclusion of the Dotcom quote. I'll give you a few days. --Nstrauss (talk) 23:16, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

We all know (and i think you can find that in the Guardian articles and maybe also in this wiki article) that the PRISM program is not only about snooping, right? It's also not only about Google, FB, Twitter etc. snooping. You can find that in many sources it is reported that NSA is able (and it's using that ability) to *tamper* with data, aka "altering communications between two parties involved in such a communication". This also goes beyond the collaboration of NSA and Corporation (like Google etc). In fact it involves *also* foreign traffic that transit in the US. Some of the many leaked slides document that the NSA is also tampering the traffic data and the goals are usually:
1) attacking the computer of the user. (some way it can be done? Here's an example:
The victim (let say he/she is French) is watching a Flash Video from a chinese server.
That traffic passes through the US. If it doesnt pass through the US it anyway passes through some US ISP (like Verizon, Level3, etc) Hop_(networking)s in Europe (like, for example, the (in)famous Frankfurt Level3 HOP where you always have to pass through to connect to some russian servers [example: to connect to], but there're many other similar examples ).
At this point the US can alter such traffic in real-time in order to exploit some software bugs on the computer of the victim in order to gain control of that computer (access to files, further communication snooping etc)
I'm from Italy and i can guarantee that ALL (or something over 90%) of Internet connections traffic from Europe to China/Russia passes through US controlled network infrastructures. If you're not in the US just try (for example) to traceroute or and you'll see that there is always at least one US hop in the middle (they just need one to intercept and/or alter the traffic). It's the very same type of insecurity you can find while connecting to the Net using a wi-fi hotspot (but with the 'plus' danger that you're sure that there's the US gov doing nasty things to connections [i mean: on an hotspot you're not 100% sure that there's the "bad guys" danger ])
2) alter the communication between the two (or more) parties involved: Since the traffic pass through the US (at service level: in Google/FB/Twitter/Yahoo servers. Or at ISP level: because much of the global traffic passes through the US, also when there's no communication endpoint in the US [it's only transit traffic] ). It's a well documented pratice used also in Iran and other similar countries, you can find info about such Internet abuse in the Deep_packet_inspection#Iran wiki page ("enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes."), where it says that via ISPs collaboration the Iran governement disrupt and/or manipulate communications between the dissidents (using Western equipment by Siemens/Nokia/Ericsson).
About the business/economic/industrial espionage: It's not a news. It was already known many years ago that all the US "echelons" are used mainly for economic spionage to advantage US firms. Only now it's became a mainstream talks' topic. For example the European Union is saying that it can't trust no more the US and that new trade agreements are at risk because "we [Europe] can't make deals about economic policies with a country that spy us and our country firms"
I hope i resolved all your doubts.
Note: i am (It's better for me to explicitly say it now. Just in case you finished your arguments again and you still want to use it again as a "sockpuppeting argoument pretext" in order to censor my informations or to "protect" the article again)
Bye (talk) 13:49, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

You don't need to convince me of anything. You just need to find me reliable sources that support your position. No reliable sources, no Kim Dotcom. --Nstrauss (talk) 06:28, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

You dont need to simply tell me "i'm not convinced". You just need to tell me:
WHY you're not.
WHAT doesnt convince you.
What is the argument you need info to understand?
Do you need info (sources) about the EU considering the global snooping an economic menace?
Or do you need a source that explains that intercepted traffic is manipulable?
Please keep in mind that i'm NOT in your head.
So you have to tell me exactly what kind of source you are in need. (what is/are the info/s in need of sources here for you to be able to understand the argument?) (talk) 13:08, 5 July 2013 (UTC) <-- see the NSA slide where it says "protocol exploitation" (aka manipulation of traffic data to trigger an exploit so that they can get control over that computer/communication aka "compromise the system")
need something more? (talk)

Oh btw: i am (just for safety ;) (talk) 13:17, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

What I'm not convinced of: The statements you made in your edit comments in support of your re-addition of the Kim Dotcom quote. Why I'm not convinced: Because I haven't seen those statements made by reliable sources. Show me the sources. Put another way: prove to us that you're not trying to use Wikipedia as your own personal soapbox or as a platform for your own original research. --Nstrauss (talk) 17:21, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
So the problem is that you cant find sources about these two facts i was referring to (in the "edit comments" section [aka "edit summary"]) in the history of the article?
If this is the case (i've to say that you're not so precise/explicit in saying me what you want me to document) the 'needed' sources are for:
1) PRISM consists not only in simple interceptions but also in *manipulation* of the traffic of some Internet users.
2) With PRISM, as in the Echelon case, the NSA main goal is to spy on non-US firms in order to steal industrial secrets (or to do sabotage) in order to create advantage for US corporations.
I hope i win the quiz of discovering your info-gaps.
1) NSA also manipulate the traffic (to disrupt or to subvert communication , or to hack into the pc of a user) :
and: where it says that it's not only about big Corps traffic. It is also about transit traffic and it means that someone from (for example) Swiss can connect to a Chinese server and the traffic will pass through the USA territory, with all that this implies.
2)Economic espionage:
"Echelon: Big brother without a cause?" (from 2001, now we know why 911 it all happened ;)
Mr Campbell believes that when the Cold War ended, this under-employed intelligence apparatus was put to use for economic gain.
and: But former CIA director James Woolsey, in an article in March for the Wall Street Journal, acknowledged that the US did conduct economic espionage against its European allies, though he did not specify if Echelon was involved.
And this is also the reason for EU politicians' concern when PRISM was made public. Some reactions:
"The NSA paper also allegedly refers to the EU as a "target" "
According to Der Spiegel, the US surveillance system spied on some 500 million telephone and internet recordings in Germany each month, ramping up fears that the United States was not simply collecting data to prevent against acts of terrorism, but was involved in full-scale industrial espionage.
Need more? (It's so cool to have somebody else do the research for you on the Net, isnt it? ;)
Tell me if ya need something else (i've a nice list of some websites, people call'em "Search Engine"s)
I hope i've informed you enough now.
ЧАО ЧАО ! (talk) [aka, for the friends XD ]

This seems like classic original research to me. You're cherry picking sources that don't actually say what you're saying and then extrapolating with no basis. That's not what we do here. You cite the reference to "transit traffic" in the PRISM slide as proof that the purpose of PRISM is to manipulate data, rather than to collect it? Where does that come from? You cite an article about ECHELON to draw conclusions about PRISM. You also rely on an unsubstantiated accusation by a British intelligence expert (Campbell) as conclusive proof. And then you rely on claims of a "ramping up" of "fears" of industrial espionage (broken link, btw) to "prove" that PRISM is used for industrial espionage. Sorry, these sources don't come close to cutting it. And yes, the Wikipedia community expects you to do your own research if you're going to throw around such unsubstantiated allegations.--Nstrauss (talk) 23:22, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Strike that. You're the same Italian IP-hopper who provoked a very disruptive discussion earlier and was responsible for this article becoming semi-protected. Funny how you didn't disclose that. You're being uncivil and you also seem to have chronic WP:IDHT. Please drop this pestering or we'll go back to the noticeboards for further sanctions. --Nstrauss (talk) 23:55, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

i didnt disclose it???? And what have i done when (some posts ago) i wrote this?
<< Note: i am (It's better for me to explicitly say it now. Just in case you finished your arguments again and you still want to use it again as a "sockpuppeting argoument pretext" in order to censor my informations or to "protect" the article again) >>
but ok, it's not a news that you not only complain without arguments: you dont even read the replies!!
And btw i never said that "the purpose of PRISM is to manipulate data rather than collect it". I only said that data manipulation is being done by NSA. (i never said that it was their main activity). Please stop attributing me things that i never wrote.
and about the "broken link": i can see NO broken link. The BBC and the RT link are the only links i've posted. I've just checked them and they all works good. (maybe NSA's at work against your connection ? XD )
And about the "IP-hopping": It's called dynamic ip. It happens each time the connection restart or the router reboots. It's nothing strange, it's called Dynamic IP. Somebody has static IP somebody dont. Just keep your heart in peace with it, 'cause i'll not change. Maybe you can find useful information about networking, here on the Net.
Btw how my connection works and what my IP is, is NONE of your business. I always revealed my identity here, so the IP-hopping accusation is simple BS.
I started with a comment saying that i'm the one who used ip, and then i also said that i'm the one of the "backdoor discussion" (i say that when i'm pointing the fact that last time you already used my ip as a pretext ['cause you were out of arguments ] to lock me out from editing using the "protection" of the page)
(And yet, i'm still (talk) 08:21, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Strike that. Do you work for the NSA? Your nick also made me think that Ns = National security ? dont take it as an offence. I'm just asking, since there's some rule here on wiki against conflict of interests and i noticed your disruptive behaviour when it comes to handle facts that could damage the public image of the NSA or the US gov. (talk)

You failed again in explaining why the Kim Dotcom comments are not ok in the article (and the WP:OR has nothing to do with this, since here we are in a Talk page and that pretext doesnt work here, since the Talk page goal is to allow the users to use ORs.) The part you removed contain sources (The Guardian and the chinese newspaper). (and i'm still (talk) 23:31, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

@NsAtrauss: oh good you 'protected' the page again? Is this your normal behavior or was it $haped by money? you're nuts(<- removed according to WP:PA) (talk) 23:35, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Balance in the Domestic Response section

The Domestic Response section was tagged as being too anti-PRISM. Rather than just leaving the tag there and making no effort to adjust the balance, can someone suggest what material to add that shows support for the program? I've tried a number of searches looking for support from the usual political commentators, but so far I am not coming up with anything useful. Dezastru (talk) 04:29, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm guilty of drive-by tagging. I meant to work on this but then I forgot about it. I'll look for pro-PRISM sources tomorrow, but in the meantime, I do recall both Thomas Friedman and Bill Keller being pro-PRISM. (Or anti-Snowden? I can't remember.) Keller is particularly notable because he was embroiled in the warrantless wiretapping scandal in 2006 I believe. I'm sure there are lots of other columnists, editorial boards, and other high-profile folks who have come out pro-PRISM, e.g. it's necessary to protect us from terrorists. --Nstrauss (talk) 06:26, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
You could probably add more of the polls to that, not just talking heads. See [14]. There might have been more since then. Someone not using his real name (talk) 18:51, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Not the spying is the problem, the assymmetry is it...


It's not the surveillance that is the problem. The problem is that only a few people have access to the gathered data. So only they can decide what to do with it. I got no problem if all those CIA and NSA guys - mainly mean intelligently military people - give me access to their files. Just to see how much dirt they have done. But they won't because there are some real criminals in those organisations. Only a minority but still they're there, killing presidents and attacking foreign or domestic nations. Anyway, as long as "secret services" can be legitimately secret, while manipulating political parties and governments, anything won't change. By the way, in a democracy it doesn't make any sense why informations about "enemy" countries aren't released to the public. The only reason not to do it is because secret services run the countries, at least China, Russia and the USA, manipulating people and infiltrating all kind of public or private organisations. That's the world out there right now, and today's world's situation does exactly reflect the intelligence and empathy (meaning both IQ and EQ) of the people in power. Nevermind, our civilisation is anyway going down soon. It has nothing to do with kindergarten games of any secret yes, go on to surveil me while not using your power to do real good...still we're sitting in the same boat, pal, an increasingly sick planet named earth. Mark my words and watch "Elysium" to see what comes next. (talk) 18:59, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Example of MetaData

This blog post about finding Paul Revere very simply explains how limited meta data actually contains a lot more info than you might suspect if you can cross reference it. Not sure whether this article can absorb the ideas - perhaps it ought to be in analysis of metadata or somewhere else similar? EdwardLane (talk) 22:04, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Is the lead section is too long? (Alexander quote)

Per WP:LEAD, the lead section should be concise, and of course it should be WP:BALANCEd. Can we please get rid of the Keith Alexander statement, which is largely redundant with the Obama statement? It's also been heavily contested and critiqued by a variety of reliable sources. As things currently stand it sounds like we're endorsing the government's view on this. At one point there was language in the lead that attempted to balance the Alexander statement but it just read as a back-and-forth, which was really inappropriate for the lead section. In my view we should focus on concision. --Nstrauss (talk) 06:30, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree with moving the Alexander stuff to the body of the article, and have done it myself. It's a convoluted issue, too big for the lead. I'm inclined to think that the Obama quote could be moved as well; it's basically well-summarized by the "U.S. government officials have disputed some aspects of the Guardian and Washington Post stories and have defended the program" statement, which comes right before it. Someone not using his real name (talk) 22:23, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Cramming it into the lead doesn't allow more context, like mentioning that Obama's statement was made exactly on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, a fact that was remarked by the press. Someone not using his real name (talk) 22:32, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, the attendance to the Obama Berlin speech says something for itself: "But the Barack Obama who spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate to a few thousand people on June 19 looked a lot different from the one who spoke in front of the Siegessäule in July 2008 in front of more than 200,000 people, who had gathered in the heart of Berlin to listen to Mr. Obama, then running for president." The NYT article [15] has more context-related commentary, which again doesn't fit in the lead. Someone not using his real name (talk) 22:42, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
This one [16] has more precise numbers: "Officials said 4,500 people were present, fewer than the 6,000 tickets distributed — perhaps reflecting the scorching heat. Even so, that was far fewer than the 450,000 who saw Mr. Kennedy or the 200,000 who packed a park to hear Mr. Obama in 2008, when he was a presidential candidate. Then, Ms. Merkel had discouraged his use of the Brandenburg Gate site, saying it should not be used for politicking. This time she invited him to use it." Someone not using his real name (talk) 22:47, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Section break 1

Given that the Alexander statement was added back, without the accompanying statement by the two US Democratic senators from the Intelligence committee, which is how it's presented for example in the BBC, I think the lead is currently not being neutral. Even more so because the exact same Senators have caused the NSA to retract their famous fact sheets on PRISM, and Alexander has personally admitted the sheets were wrong. Someone not using his real name (talk) 02:21, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure what all the context about Obama's Berlin speech has to do with this, but I agree with the tag and the removal of the Keith Alexander material from the lead. --Nstrauss (talk) 18:36, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

So here's the material you want to remove,

According to NSA Director General Keith B. Alexander, communications surveillance helped prevent more than 50 potential terrorist attacks worldwide (at least 10 of them in the United States) between 2001 and 2013, and the PRISM web traffic surveillance program contributed in over 90 percent of those cases.[1][2][3]

I disagree with the idea of removing this material. As NSA Director, Alexander's view carries significant weight. By completely removing one of the primary functions of the program (to reduce terrorist activity) you are violating Wikipedia's policy on neutrality(WP:NPOV) by not respecting the weight carried by the Alexander material(WP:Weight). And neutrality is not determined by majority rule so keep that in mind. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 19:02, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

That statement has been heavily questioned by reliable sources. Alexander's position as NSA Director has nothing to do with WP:NPV except to demonstrate that his statement shouldn't be treated as a reliable source (due to obvious possibility of bias). By including them in the lead unquestioned we effectively endorse the government's position and dismiss the opposition's view. That's a no-no. --Nstrauss (talk) 19:10, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The Alexander material received significant media coverage which is where WP:Weight comes into play. By giving the Director of the NSA zero representation in the lead, which includes establishing one of the primary functions of the PRISM program (to reduce terrorist activity), you are violating Wikipedia's WP:NPOV policy. I'm not saying you can't add a line stating that so-and-so(someone who carries similar weight to Alexander - i.e. not Rush Limbaugh) stated that they didn't agree with the statistics presented by Alexander, but that would need to be presented neutrally. For example, if a senator stated that the program only helped prevent 40 potential terrorist attacks instead of 50, then the Alexander material should be followed by something like, "Although US senator John Doe stated that the number was roughly 40" instead of something non-neutral like, "Although many people disagreed with Alexander's numbers." Somedifferentstuff (talk) 19:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT isn't about how much media coverage something got, it's about representing all significant viewpoints in a balanced way. Alexander's broad anti-leak viewpoint is already covered by the preceding sentence "U.S. government officials...") and the following sentence ("On June 19, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama..."). We already have a statement by the president (higher rank than Alexander, if you really want to go there) saying that the program is "directed at us being able to protect our people." Adding the Alexander sentence is just piling on and suggests that PRISM really did help prevent 50 terrorist attacks, even though that figure has been broadly criticized. And as I wrote at the beginning, yes, we could have a whole back-and-forth paragraph about the validity of Alexander's statements, but the lead section is hardly the appropriate place for it. --Nstrauss (talk) 20:08, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
You're not understanding WP:WEIGHT. It states, "... in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." You want to remove all representation for the Director of the NSA from the lead, including the establishment of one of the primary functions of the PRISM program (to reduce terrorist activity). We need to get an editor who is not involved in this discussion to comment here. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 20:39, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Agree, please, someone else "weigh" in. (Pun intended.) --Nstrauss (talk) 20:42, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Section break 2 (outside opinion given)

I think you are both right. It has high relevance, weight and notability because: (1) Alexander is more directly responsible for the program than Obama. this gives his statement a more direct relevance. (2) Alexander's statement about "50 terrorist attacks" is far more specific than Obama's, which makes it judicially notable. (3) Alexander's statement is more covered in the media titles. it already has 3 references.
But the way it has been stated is against NPOV. it says "According to" Alexander, 50 terrorist attacks have been prevented. That's not what's in those sources! they have just quoted him. I suggest:
NSA Director General Keith B. Alexander has stated that communications surveillance helped prevent more than 50 potential terrorist attacks worldwide (at least 10 of them in the United States) between 2001 and 2013, and the PRISM web traffic surveillance program contributed in over 90 percent of those cases.[4][2][3]. The statement has broadly been criticized by ...[ref]
I was wondering, Nstrauss, if you could complete the phrase. thanks. — Saeed (Talk) 21:44, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
That's an improvement for sure, but it still contributes to the "piling on" effect. I would accept it if (a) "stated" was changed to "claimed" and (b) the Obama sentence was removed. However I think the Obama sentence is better because it keeps things at a high level (appropriate for the lead) and it's not as controversial. It doesn't matter who's more "directly responsible"; Obama is the federal government's leader and spokesperson. And the fact that Alexander's statement is more detailed only goes to show that it should be excluded, as per WP:LEAD the lead section should be concise. By putting a back-and-forth about statistics into the lead we're getting into the weeds. --Nstrauss (talk) 22:10, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for giving your opinion Saeed, you make some very good points. You stated, (1) Alexander is more directly responsible for the program than Obama. this gives his statement a more direct relevance. (2) Alexander's statement about "50 terrorist attacks" is far more specific than Obama's, which makes it judicially notable. (3) Alexander's statement is more covered in the media titles. it already has 3 references. Alexander is absolutely more directly responsible for the PRISM program so this is a very good point regarding his relevance to this article. The Obama material is relevant and finishes out the section well but it needs to be trimmed down. Let's wait for Nstrauss to provide the sources disputing the Alexander material and then we can all figure out how to finish that material. Also, I disagree with the suggestion by Nstrauss to change "stated" to "claimed" (see this section of WP:Weasel.) -- Somedifferentstuff (talk) 08:41, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's the problem with trying to balance Alexander's "50 plots" statement. First off, it wasn't about PRISM, it was about NSA's surveillance programs collectively. Second, the debate has been on a case-by-case basis. For example, here's a decent summary of the debate over the Zazi case. Third, the government has qualified/backpedaled on the "50 plots" statement, with FBI deputy director Sean Joyce declining to say how many attacks were stopped by the NSA's surveillance programs because it was "almost impossible" to do so. All he could say was that the programs have been "valuable" to stopping "some" of the 50 plots. Now I understand this is all very important material for this article. But how do we include it in the lead section in a concise and balanced way? --Nstrauss (talk) 17:38, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
And here are some more details about the Zazi case, which should be included if the Alexander statement is to be presented in a balanced way:
Snowden on Monday accused members of Congress and administration officials of exaggerating their claims about the success of the data gathering programs, including pointing to the arrest of the would-be New York subway bomber, Najibullah Zazi, in 2009.
In an online interview with The Guardian in which he posted answers to questions, he said Zazi could have been caught with narrower, targeted surveillance programs -- a point Obama conceded in his interview without mentioning Snowden.
"We might have caught him some other way," Obama said. "We might have disrupted it because a New York cop saw he was suspicious. Maybe he turned out to be incompetent and the bomb didn't go off. But, at the margins, we are increasing our chances of preventing a catastrophe like that through these programs," he said.
--Nstrauss (talk) 18:37, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I'll respond to your post sometime this evening. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 06:42, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
So let's go thru some of what you brought up.
You stated that the "50 plots" statement wasn't about PRISM, it was about NSA's surveillance programs collectively. What you've done here is taken the material out of context, so I'll provide what is in this Wikipedia article. (According to NSA Director General Keith B. Alexander, communications surveillance helped prevent more than 50 potential terrorist attacks worldwide (at least 10 of them in the United States) between 2001 and 2013, and the PRISM web traffic surveillance program contributed in over 90 percent of those cases). I've bolded the text to demonstrate the contextual necessity for this information.
Second you said, "the debate has been on a case-by-case basis" and mentioned the "Zazi case." The Zazi case is only 1 case. Even if you had reliable sources for 5 cases, the impact on the current article would be minimal (i.e. 45 potential terrorist attacks worldwide instead of 50).
Third you stated, "the government has qualified/backpedaled on the "50 plots" statement". Here you talk about Sean Joyce.[17] When looking at the article this info is on page 2 at the end of the article (minimal weight), while near the beginning of the article we see, "At the same hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, said that American surveillance had helped prevent “potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” including at least 10 “homeland-based threats.” But he said that a vast majority of the others must remain secret." (More weight here.)
Giving weight to the outside opinion we received on this dispute (See WP:Consensus), I've updated the Alexander material to reflect User:Saeed.Verad's opinion. Also, you failed to provide any information when he stated, "I was wondering, Nstrauss, if you could complete the phrase." I've trimmed the Obama material so that the specifics of the Alexander material blend with the subtlety of the Obama material. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 22:15, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I restored the POV-lead tag as consensus hasn't been reached yet. Please do not remove it. You accuse me of taking "the material" (not sure what material) out of context, but it's you who are taking the Alexander quote out of context. When describing the government's position we cannot choose one statement by one official (that has been criticized as misleading by many people) and ignore other statements made by the government. When describing the debate we cannot ignore the other side's position. In this case there have been substantial criticisms about the only plots the government has disclosed. That in turn raises doubts about the other plots the government has chosen not to disclose. As I already said, the reason I didn't finish Saeed's sentence is because I don't think it's possible in a way that's both balanced and concise. --Nstrauss (talk) 22:49, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
You are now going against the general consensus after an outside opinion has been given. I've placed an edit warring warning on your talk page. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 00:32, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you planning to respond to actually respond to my last comment? Failure to do so might be seen as WP:TE. --Nstrauss (talk) 01:37, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Section break 3

We need more input. Any takers? --Nstrauss (talk) 01:30, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I do not think Alexander's comments belong in the lead; he seems to much like a primary source to me, although I could be wrong about that, but I am confident his view is too biased to be in the lead as would Snowden's view be. I'll restore the POV-lead tag for now but I think my point about Alexander's view being no more appropriate for the lead than Snowden's view has some merit ? May122013 (talk) 02:12, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I could not bring myself to leave Alexander's naturally biased comment in the lead so I took it out and removed the tag. May122013 (talk) 02:28, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
You're essentially saying that any statistical information given by a top-level government official is automatically biased. So the next time the head of the EPA states that carbon dioxide levels have increased by such and such percentage over the previous quarter it's automatically biased??? This is somewhat beside the point as Wikipedia relies on reliable sources. The Alexander material is sourced, attributed, and carries weight. I've reinstated the material after the lengthy discussion above. I've re-added the POV-lead tag and requested an outside opinion from an administrator. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate your restoring of the POV-lead tag, but I object to your re-re-(re?)-addition of the Alexander quote as edit warring. And your comment that consensus has been reached makes no sense at all. And your selective canvassing of Bbb23 is inappropriate as well. If you wish to resolve this dispute amicably then we can continue discussing it or take it to WP:DR, but if you wish to continue engaging in WP:TE then we'll end up at WP:ANI. Your choice. --Nstrauss (talk) 18:19, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
You clearly don't understand how WP:Consensus works after an outside opinion has been given. You should contact an admin or post at the help desk[18] for clarification. And asking an admin I've had contact with before to take a look at a dispute isn't canvassing. Get a clue already while you keep your hostility in check. Lastly, your anti-government POV is clear. You're attempting to keep readers from knowing the quantifiable usefulness of PRISM in helping to prevent terrorist-related incidents. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 20:39, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Others (including Congressmen with a need to know) have diminished the administration claims but Wikipedia is not the place to over-emphasize that at this time. Thanks for the review! Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 22:50, 5 July 2013 (UTC) PS: Snowden is probably right.
Somedifferentstuff, let's see where various editors have come down on this issue. (Please correct me if I misrepresent anyone on this.)
  • Remove Alexander quote: Nstrauss, Someone_not_using_his_real_name, May122013
  • Keep Alexander quote: Somedifferentstuff, Saeed (but on its own violates WP:NPV, so balancing language required)
  • Other: Charles_Edwin_Shipp (unclear whether he has stated his position is on this)
So, by my understanding, we have 4 editors saying the lead is currently biased (1 of whom thinks it can be fixed by balancing), 1 who does not, and 1 whose position is unclear. I'm an idiot, so please explain to me one more time where the consensus lies. --Nstrauss (talk) 23:40, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
WP:Consensus is not about voting. The ultimate factor in determining neutrality is the validity of an argument. See my previous comment regarding your anti-government bias. Myself, Saeed, and CES are not in favor of removing the material (See Saeed's argument in Section 2). The current tag on the article alerts editors that a discussion is taking place. Let's give it 48 hours to get more input from other users. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 02:14, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Nstrauss's position. The detailed statistics provided by Gen. Alexander should not be in the lead section per WP:DETAIL, as the gist of Alexander's statement is already captured by the surrounding text. Additionally, including these controversial figures without mentioning their criticisms creates a non-neutral point of view per WP:BALANCE. Ummonk (talk) 07:18, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

To have both this statement – "and have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government's executive, judicial and legislative branches" – and the Alexander and Obama statements is overkill. Take the Alexander statement out of the lede and keep it as a detail in the body of the article.

The current version of the lede now obscures the fact that the Prism program itself, not just its revelation, has been a source of a fair amount of controversy. The lede now gives the impression that Snowden is the only person who has raised questions about the program, which is clearly (at least as the lede is written) fully legal, and fully justified. Just take a look at the choice of terms used: "Edward Snowden, who claimed the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew" —vs— "U.S. government officials ... have defended the program by asserting" and "General Keith B. Alexander stated that" and "U.S. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dezastru (talkcontribs)

I'm glad consensus could be achieved on the Alexander quote in the lead. Someone not using his real name (talk) 18:47, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Do we have anything about the senators who wrote Alexander for specific examples after court documents showed that the NYSE bombing attempt was not prevented because of surveillance? EllenCT (talk) 09:41, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

We didn't but I added it. EllenCT (talk) 15:14, 13 July 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gerstein, Josh (June 19, 2013). "NSA: PRISM Ptopped NYSE Attack". Politico. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Staff (undated (circa June 20, 2013)). "Intelligence Officials Citing a Wide Range of Numbers to Show Importance of NSA Spy Programs". Associated Press (via The Washington Post). Retrieved June 30, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b Chang, Ailsa (June 19, 2013). "Secret Surveillance Credited with Preventing Terror Acts". NPR. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gerstein, Josh (June 19, 2013). "NSA: PRISM Ptopped NYSE Attack". Politico. Retrieved June 22, 2013.

Yahoo! has won the right for a declassification review of its legal arguments

These would be the documents that show Yahoo! "objected strenuously" to federal demands for customer data.

-- (talk) 04:06, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Microsoft and PRISM

Sources on Microsoft and PRISM:

WhisperToMe (talk) 07:20, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Also [19] and [20] which are not only completely contradictory with each other, but only a day apart. EllenCT (talk) 00:58, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Bush administration in lead

There has been some edit warring activity over "under the Bush Administration" or "by the Bush Administration" in relation to the passage of the Protect America Act (PAA). First off, "Administration" should be lowercase. Second, why are we fighting over this? Why does someone feel the intense need to point out that the PAA was passed during the Bush years second sentence of an article about PRISM? Why not say that it was passed by the 110th Congress? Isn't it enough that we have a link to the PAA and curious readers can click on it to learn more? Why not leave out this silliness altogether and please, please don't edit war? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:38, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I was set to quickly agree with Dr. Fleischman but decided to read some of the Protect America Act of 2007; specifically this portion:
The bill he submitted to Congress would address these new technologies, Bush said, as well as restore FISA's "original focus" on protecting the privacy of people within the United States, "so we don't have to obtain court orders to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets located in foreign locations." He asked that Congress pass the legislation before its August 2007 recess, stating that "Every day that Congress puts off these reforms increases the danger to our nation. Our intelligence community warns that under the current statute, we are missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country".[8]
So, now I'm thinking maybe there should even be more emphasis on who invented this product as well as the acceptance and continuation of it by current political leaders. In other words, we do seem to be dealing with an evolving invention similar to air travel wherein a complete encyclopedic article will start with the early inventors; i.e. the Bush team, and show the systematic continuation and/or growth of the invention up to the present day; that is if the RSs present it as a continuation rather than a chaotic development. May122013 (talk) 23:41, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
1 thing's for sure; the U.S. Constitution's 4th. amendment is in shambles because of Prism et al. and there are a lot of RS articles about that effect which may be worth including at some point, I think. May122013 (talk) 23:44, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm all for an expanded explanation of the legal origins for PRISM (supported by RS's, of course) but please keep a couple of things in mind. First, Congress passed the bill. They're a separate and co-equal branch of government and they had no obligation to accept the Bush administration's lobbying. Second, the lead section is no place for such a detailed history. The lead is already long enough as it is. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 03:30, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
That's true; the lede is too long already. May122013 (talk) 04:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)


In the section "Responses and involvement of other countries" the subsections about Germany and about India have gotten mixed up. These two subsections need to be separated.

Also, perhaps the German section could be augmented with the following: "The German Army was using PRISM to support its operations in Afghanistan as early as 2011." Reference: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Done. --P3Y229 (talkcontribs) 07:53, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

These German articles mixed things up: the PRISM used in Afghanistan is the military Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM). From the fragments published by the BILD paper, it's clear that they are talking about a tasking tool used for collection management, as can be seen in this german video report. P2Peter (talk) 18:10, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

The Slides

Where are they? I can't find one place where all the slides revealed so far are. I count 10 of them as of 11th June. It's very disapointing that they are not all in this article, isn't that what Wikipedia is for? has made an attempt to track them. (talk) 14:14, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an image repository called the Commons which should have all of them: Commons:Category:PRISM (surveillance program) WhisperToMe (talk) 14:52, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Great but why isn't this link in the main article? (talk) 23:07, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Have added link to the Commons slides, this is probably the item of most interest to many readers of the article so I think it deserves a high billing, wouldn't like to see it buried in the article. Amazed it wasn't there.Dbdb (talk) 00:09, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Congressional oversight committee threatens to pull plug in 2015 without big changes This one also admits that surveilance targets are approved "two or three" contacts away from suspects, instead of just two as per the leaked 2009 procedures. more reporting on the same hearing. Even more, with quotes, e.g. by Rep. Ted Poe (TX): "Do you see a national security exemption in the Fourth Amendment?" EllenCT (talk) 01:04, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

This should be included, its especially notable in the admissions of surveillance extended to people beyond what procedures permit. May122013 (talk) 00:40, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Move responses to "2013 mass surveillance scandal"?

Wouldn't it be better to move most of the national and international responses to the PRISM disclosure to the article 2013 mass surveillance scandal? This article here is really overloaded: it's giving hardly any specific information about PRISM itself, but, in my opinion, a way too long and detailed listing of all those responses. I think that would fit much better in the other article, which is more focussed on the "scandal". P2Peter (talk) 01:32, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

22,000 readers went to this "PRISM" article the past 2 days [21]and one tenth that many- about 2,000 - went to the "2013 mass surveillance scandal" article[22]. That's one reason I'd say leave the info here. May122013 (talk) 01:00, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course, people will google "PRISM" and that brings them here. But are they looking for information about the data collection program, or for a detailed listing of all the responses worldwide? I think the first, and that's hard to find here. Personally, I don't really see the relevance of mentioning all those responses, and if it may be relevant, I would say put it in a separate article, and make a link to that article here. P2Peter (talk) 01:31, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Concerning the statement about Twitter with regards to PRISM.

It is interesting to note that while Twitter may not be party to a direct arrangement with the NSA, it is nonetheless providing its public tweets to the Library of Congress. And announced this in a press release.[1][2][3]


-- (talk) 08:06, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

It is interesting, but I'm not sure what it has to do with PRISM. It probably belongs in the Twitter article, and perhaps in the Library of Congress article. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:48, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
The Twitter article has a reference already. I would be highly surprised if the NSA can't access the LOC's Twitter Database. I've seen no press so far on the issue. Right now it's in my "note for future reference" pile in case the issue appears. -- (talk) 00:34, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course the NSA can access the LOC's Twitter database. That's the point of the LOC, to keep a record of all published works. Tweets are public and LOC's archive is publicly accessible. It's the exactly opposite of PRISM, which collects largely private data and allows extremely limited access. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 04:28, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Poll: US cloud providers losing business

Which sections should go in and how should it be reported? Some excerpts:

"The Cloud Security Alliance said 10 percent of its non-US members have cancelled a contract with a US-based cloud provider, and 56 percent said they were less likely to use an American company.... The alliance includes some 48,000 individual members and corporations involved in security and other Internet-based businesses.... 36 percent of US firms polled said the revelations would make it more difficult for their company to do business outside the United States, while 64 percent said it would not."

EllenCT (talk) 15:46, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

We need a new section for this and the DuckDuckGo stuff (see thread above). --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 06:10, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Amash Amendment

The failed Amash amendment to a recent spending bill would be a great addition to this article. The house narrowly rejected the amendment 205 to 217 along bipartisan lines that would have defunded parts of the NSA's data collection activities.

Sources (I know how partisan Wikipedia talk pages are, so I provided a ton of links from all ends of the news-media spectrum):

Upcoming Legislation to watch:

By Rep Rush Holt: "Surveillance State Repeal Act"

  • Repeal the Patriot Act
  • Repeal most of the Fisa Amendments act of 2008
  • Alters the terms of appointment of FISA judges
  • Makes its own amendments to FISA
  • Requires a Probable-cause warrant for all collection on US Persons
  • Forbids the government to mandate backdoors to devices and encryption
  • Strengthens protections for whistleblowers

-- (talk) 21:32, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Conditions for surveillance of US nationals in the US and other issues

I was suprised to see that this aricle doesn't cover yet. Page 5 is particularly interesting. (Ever sent or received email to someone in a foreign country? You're exempt from NSA privacy protections which nominally apply to US citizens.) [23] is a good secondary New Yorker fact piece on it. [24] and [25] collect many other sources on the same topic. EllenCT (talk) 06:54, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Also, the single public opinion poll reported in this article is both out of date and happens to be the poll most favorable to the surveillance program. Public sentiment has been turning against the program rapidly. Here is the most recent poll as of today.

(I added updated polling data.) EllenCT (talk) 15:17, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Another thing is that there does not seem to be a discussion of the revelation that the program involves FBI-owned equipment on the large Internet corporations' premises, which was revealed a few days after strenuous but carefully-worded denials from those companies which strongly implied that they were not participating in any such programs. These omissions should be corrected.

Finally, the slides are low resolution versions of the partially redacted Guardian versions, instead of the more informative Washington Post slides. EllenCT (talk) 09:33, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

All excellent suggestions. Feel free to jump right in and improve the article. Dezastru (talk) 22:16, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. There are also government promises to disclose evidence collected by surveilance and used in prosecution and subjects' right to standing which the Supreme Court recited from government arguments, which have some implications of Interest on this topic. EllenCT (talk) 17:13, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm swamped but will get to all this eventually. I'd be happy if others could include some of this. In the mean time here is an interview of Richard M. Stallman by Sophie Shevardnadze which covers international as well as US-specific effects. EllenCT (talk) 23:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
New Pew Research poll. I swear I will get to all this stuff sooner or later, but many many thanks to those who've been leapfrogging my talk page notes into the article. <3 EllenCT (talk) 22:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Economic and Social Fallout

Search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Ixquick are gaining popularity.

-- (talk) 17:38, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

DuckDuckGo is getting more press so I would focus on that. Here are some sources:

--Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:08, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Here is another great article from a very reputable source (USA Today) to the pile:

--Akh81 (talk) 06:56, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

2007 PRISM Start Date may be incorrect

SAIC 2006 Annual Report Mentions PRISM by name on page 13 of the pdf report. Here's the link for confirmation/challenge: PRISM isn't secret in this public report, making it public domain information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:21, 29 July 2013 (UTC) The main PRISM access point is here: LEIDOS is part of SAIC and is the cropped form of kaLEIDOScope, making PRISM and LEIDOS dovetail into the optics theme. A secondary access point is here: Cheryl Aycock and Barry Fiebert are key personnel for the PRISM program at SAIC/LEIDOS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 29 July 2013 (UTC)


These other NSA programs are confirmed by name and described in [26] and [27]:

"... both UPSTREAM and PRISM may be only the tips of a much larger system. Another new document released by Snowden says that on New Year’s Eve, 2012, SHELLTRUMPET, a metadata program targeting international communications, had just 'processed its One Trillionth metadata record.' Started five years ago, it noted that half of that trillion was added in 2012. It also noted that two more new programs, MOONLIGHTPATH and SPINNERET, 'are planned to be added by September 2013.'"

Do they need their own articles, or redirects? EllenCT (talk) 05:54, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

If you spefic knowledge and contents to the programms, then create new articles. Otherwise redirect them to List of government surveillance projects#United_States and 2013 mass surveillance disclosures. The sources you posted are already included in the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures site. --P3Y229 (talkcontribs) 18:02, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

All examples of success have been shown false by simple research so far

This is really confusing to me. I was reading Techdirt's coverage of today's emergency NSA hearing to prevent their Section 215 program from being de-funded, and the author points out that, "To date, every example (of disrupting terrorist attacks) given (by the NSA to Congress) falls apart under scrutiny." And, "You'd think that the NSA and the FBI would be trotting out the good examples first." I'm completely baffled by this. Could there be a disgruntled middle management in NSA which is purposely releasing stories which they know will fall apart upon research by the press? More importantly, how should the article cover this aspect of the reaction? EllenCT (talk) 22:21, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

More on the same topic here. Still no verifiable examples of terrorist plots foiled, officials still claiming 30 or 50 exist. Still no explanation of why the original public examples were mistaken. Very very odd. EllenCT (talk) 22:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Greenwald: low-level NSA employees have full access to calls, emails, cloud data

ABC News (video)

"these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst," Greenwald said.
But the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee told Stephanopoulos he would be shocked if such programs existed.... "I was back out at NSA just last week, spent a couple hours out there with high and low level NSA officials," Chambliss said. "And what I have been assured of is that there is no capability at NSA for anyone without a court order to listen to any telephone conversation or to monitor any e-mail.... no emails are monitored now. They used to be, but that stopped two or three years ago."
"NSA officials are going to be testifying [under oath] before the Senate on Wednesday, and I defy them to deny that these programs work exactly as I just said," said Greenwald, who will join via video-link a separate bipartisan congressional group hearing from critics of the NSA’s surveillance programs on Wednesday.

Further details are promised at early this week. EllenCT (talk) 13:16, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

ABC article has been added with this edit. --P3Y229 (talkcontribs) 19:17, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

"XKeyscore" "XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'; NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches; Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history"

Not sure about the capitalization on this one. EllenCT (talk) 17:34, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

All nicknames and codewords are capitalized by NSA itself, but I don't know what Wikipedia policy is. What I do know, is that XKeyscore isn't a data collecting program, but merely a data analysing tool. P2Peter (talk) 00:17, 4 August 2013 (UTC)