PRISM helped stop terrorism in US and 20-plus countries, NSA document argues

US intelligence officials sent Congress a new declassified document on Saturday, which the Senate Intelligence Committee then made public. Outlets such as CNN and the Associated Press received this, and it revealed a number of interesting statistics related to the government’s use of the NSA’s controversial PRISM program. However, this document has not yet been published on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s website (and does not seem to be easily obtained through basic Internet search).

The new document is part of an intelligence officials’ effort to “show Americans the value of the program,” according to the AP. The report’s primary supporting stat? Intelligence officials said that information gleaned from these NSA initiatives helped prevent terrorist plots in the US and more than 20 other countries. Additionally, the release stated that phone metadata was searched for less than 300 times within the secretive database last year.

The document also added details to the public’s growing picture of the PRISM program. CNN reported that the NSA must delete these records after five years. The AP wrote that the NSA programs are reviewed every 90 days by a secret court authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and that the metadata records (which includes a call’s time and length) can only be inspected for “suspected connections to terrorism.”

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Ars Technica

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