After a couple intense days of speculation and troubling reports about what could be contained in the set of data the NSA's PRISM
program has gathered, we're getting some actual information on it. Glenn Greenwald from The Guardian
, who had first exposed the Verizon call logging
side of this, has gotten a look at "Boundless Informant" which is software that details the data collection a bit more.
According to Greenwald, the data collected is once again focused on metadata (just like the logs collected from Verizon), and PRISM doesn't include the contents of emails, instant messages, or phone calls, but some documents show that IP addresses can be attached to the data. An NSA spokesman told Greenwald that "current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication."
Boundless Informant is used to organize the data, and where it originates. The software shows that 3 billion pieces of information were tracked in the US over a 30-day period ending in March. During that same time, 97 billion pieces of information were collected worldwide, and the most heavily surveilled regions were Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, and India. The heat map to the right shows how much various regions around the world are surveilled, with the range going from green to red.
As you can see, America is a mid-range yellow. Of course, the government has insisted that Americans have not been targeted
, although incidental information could have been gathered if an American was somehow connected to a targeted individual.