This slide describes what happens when an NSA analyst “tasks” the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target. The request to add a new target is passed automatically to a supervisor who reviews the “selectors,” or search terms. The supervisor must endorse the analyst’s “reasonable belief,” defined as 51 percent confidence, that the specified target is a foreign national who is overseas at the time of collection.
After communications information is acquired, the data are processed and analyzed by specialized systems that handle voice, text, video and “digital network information” that includes the locations and unique device signatures of targets.
The PRISM case notation format reflects the availability, confirmed by The Post’s reporting, of real-time surveillance as well as stored content.