analyst has access to query raw SIGINT [signals intelligence] databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want." According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be U. citizens, but in the process, communication data of some U. Greenwald said low level Analysts can, via systems like PRISM, "listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., author of the USA Patriot Act, threatened during the hearing.He added that the NSA databank, with its years of collected communications, allows analysts to search that database and listen "to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you've entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future." Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7, 2013 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats. Leaks of classified documents pointed to the role of a special court in enabling the government's secret surveillance programs, but members of the court maintained they were not collaborating with the executive branch.PRISM collects stored internet communications based on demands made to internet companies such as Google Inc.
The disclosures were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that the NSA's data gathering practices constitute "a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people." PRISM was publicly revealed when classified documents about the program were leaked to journalists of The Washington Post and The Guardian by Edward Snowden – at the time an NSA contractor – during a visit to Hong Kong."While other nations' data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a 'soft' approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest." And, "when push comes to shove," Stoddart wrote, "short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations." On 20 October 2013 a committee at the European Parliament backed a measure that, if it is enacted, would require American companies to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data. Paris prosecutors had opened preliminary inquiries into the NSA program in July, but Fabius said, "…The legislation has been under consideration for two years. On October 21, 2013 the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, summoned the U. Ambassador, Charles Rivkin, to the Quai d'Orsay in Paris to protest large-scale spying on French citizens by the U. obviously we need to go further" and "we must quickly assure that these practices aren't repeated." German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "the internet is new to all of us" to explain the nature of the program; Matthew Schofield of Mc Clatchy Washington Bureau said, "She was roundly mocked for that statement." about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program—Verint Systems and Narus.Under PRISM, there's no collection based upon keywords or names.The actual collection process is done by the Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) of the FBI, which on behalf of the NSA sends the selectors to the US internet service providers, which were previously served with a Section 702 Directive.Brazil's president at the time, Dilma Rousseff, responded to Snowden's reports that the NSA spied on her phone calls and emails by cancelling a planned October 2013 state visit to the United States, demanding an official apology, which by October 20, 2013, hadn't come.Canada's national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), said that commenting on PRISM "would undermine CSE's ability to carry out its mandate." Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada's standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating "We have fallen too far behind" in her report.According to this report, PRISM is only used to collect internet communications, not telephone conversations.These internet communications are not collected in bulk, but in a targeted way: only communications that are to or from specific selectors, like e-mail addresses, can be gathered.PRISM is a program from the Special Source Operations (SSO) division of the NSA, which in the tradition of NSA's intelligence alliances, cooperates with as many as 100 trusted U. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and challenged as illegal, because it did not include warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2012 the act was renewed by Congress under President Obama for an additional five years, through December 2017.PRISM was enabled under President Bush by the Protect America Act of 2007 and by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunizes private companies from legal action when they cooperate with U. According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 "specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant" when one of the parties is outside the U. The most detailed description of the PRISM program can be found in a report about NSA's collection efforts under Section 702 FAA, that was released by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) on July 2, 2014.