WaPo:The NSA Slide You Haven’t Seen
One is PRISM, the NSA program that collects information from technology companies, which was first revealed in reports by the Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper last month. The slide also shows a separate category labeled “Upstream,” described as accessing “communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past.”
The interaction between Upstream and PRISM — which could be considered “downstream” collection because the data are already processed by tech companies — is not entirely clear from the slide. In addition, its description of PRISM as “collection directly from the servers” of technology giants such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook has been disputed by many of the companies involved. (They say access to user data is legal and limited.)
However PRISM works, the NSA slide makes clear that the two collection methods operate in parallel, instructing analysts that “You Should Use Both.” Arrows point to both “Upstream” and “PRISM.”
Maybe it is this slide that Snowden keeps refering to when he “doubles down” on the claim of :direct access”.