Newly released NSA slides explain mechanics of US surveillance

In the latest revelations of the NSA leaks scandal, new slides have emerged thoroughly explaining the targeting process of the US government top-secret PRISM program deployed to spy on communication data of targets operating abroad.

The screenshots published by the Washington Post, detail how PRISM tasks are issued by analysts and describes the approval process of an individual requests. To begin with, an NSA analyst “tasks” PRISM to gather information about a surveillance target.  The system then temporarily freezes that request and automatically ask for an approval from a supervisor.  If the superior decides that the request possesses a “reasonable belief” of perceived threat, then PRISM goes to work.

In the surveillance process, NSA often obtains its live data from the FBI that retrieves matching information, using government equipment from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.