[link to www.unduecoercion.com
There is a significant amount of speculation that Ed Snowden's release of information is controlled, and at some level that must be the truth, however the global response, as well as number of very important high level details are "true" either way. The newspapers who have chosen to release Snowden's leaked slides made a significant point of limiting some of the information released, specifically the technology involved in collection, in the "interest" of National Security. These papers decisions are most likely part of the controlled release, and what we have before us is a message from the NSA to the world.
We are watching you, and there's nothing you can do about it.
What has been delivered by the release of several classified NSA slides is the governments will to surveil all electronic communications, regardless of whether or not they originate in the United States, are between U.S. citizens, or are privileged diplomatic communications of foreign states--both allies and enemies. We have witnessed backlash from the EU, specifically Germany, as well as a number of South American nations who are "disgusted" by the use of apparent Cold War tactics.. being used against "friendly" nations.
At the same time, we have seen a number of the corporations involved flat out deny their participation in the PRISM program, who have repeatedly stated they value the privacy of their users, and only respond to specific FISA requests. The slides clearly state that the data is collected directly from the servers of these companies, and if it is possible for both of these things to be true, there is nearly only one way.
What we are looking at is a hardware backdoor, one that operates similarly to TEMPEST technology, and can remotely collect information from pretty much any piece of hardware without the owners knowledge. Research into this technology, which remotely reads (and now most certainly can also write) information to electronic hardware is not new, its very old in fact. I am reminded of a story of Soviet spies traveling around the country in an "eavesdropping van" to steal trade secrets from our companies, sensitive information from our government all the way back in the 70's and 80's. In the 90's, a gentleman named Van Eck "discovered" how some of this technology worked, and it then became public knowledge also. This technology allowed for exactly what PRISM does--the removal of sensitive information directly from servers without the knowledge or consent of the owners of the servers.
For a number of years, the internet was filled with speculation about TEMPEST, and a counterpart technology which would allow for the opposite: remotely writing directly to hardware (integrated circuits, boards, etc) which would allow for communications to not only be listened to, but also altered. Slowly since the beginning of the 21st century, nearly all information about TEMPEST has been removed from the internet. That in itself is a bit strange, its not often that a leaked piece of technology gets "unleaked" and removed from public view.
It is this second research thrust revealed in the TEMPEST which might give light to how "PRISM" may be nothing more than a controlled leak, one designed to give the public an explanation for how something can happen, without knowing the full truth.
This technology, now over 40 years in development, has the ability to read and write to any electrical circuitry, remotely, and undetectable. What does that mean to you? They can not only listen, but change what you see and hear; and they can do it to everyone, everywhere not just companies that give consent. During this long period of research and development, it's pretty likely that the TEMPEST electromagnetic shielding standards have also been defeated.. as those too are now public knowledge. This would imply that on some level, scientists have defeated timespace when dealing with electrons and photons.. it would be a very big thing in the world of physics.
It's possible, and probable, that this mechanism can be used regardless of geographic location of the hardware, and it could begin at the factory, where the chips are created and inserted in electronics. Every computer, every phone, and ever single server on the planet would be available for not only surveillance, but also censorship, and even more nefarious--intentional disinformation being inserted.
What Snowden was given, was an explanation to NSA employees (and now the world) as to how its possible for them to have the availability of information that these contractors know they do, without revealing just how powerful the control is. Telling low level employees that they have access to server level information from large companies alleviates the need to tell them that they have... well.. complete read/write access to... everything. If you think about it though, that's what they have.
Welcome to the new brave new world of electronic communications, where you can no longer trust that the message you receive, is the one that was sent.