On June 6, the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers published material and allegations from whistleblower Edward Snowden about two programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency. One program collects vast amounts of metadata (location, phone numbers, date, and time) about all phone calls from major telecommunications providers under a secret order from the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court. The second program, “PRISM,” collects not just metadata but content as well, utilizing authorization by the FISA Amendments Act.
PRISM, though run by the NSA, has allegedly also been accessed by the intelligence agencies of close U.S. allies including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
This discussion explores the impact of the disclosures by Snowden, their legality and implications, and possible next steps and challenges for addressing this issue, both domestically and internationally.