God it must be relaxing being the ones in behind the curtains of the PRISM project. Obama must stand there in front of the whole world and try to talk it away. What stressful situation it must be for him. If you didn’t know, PRISM is only the information-gathering part of the larger schemes. I don’t seem to see anyone talk anything about the deeper things here. Not that we could KNOW what these things are, and it’s easy to just speculate. Anyhow, for an article about the information-processing part of this, have a look here: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/.
“Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.
The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.””
Personally, I believe that they actually want to use it mostly for anti-terrorism stuff (and/or read “protecting their interests”. Whatever they really are).