The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Leaked slides show NSA is eavesdropping on live conversations

Photo credited to parker62 at

Recently leaked NSA slides reported by the Washington Post have fueled the ongoing controversy regarding Snowden and the PRISM program. The slides summarize plans by the NSA to engage in real-time surveillance of e-mail, text and voice chat.

New leaked slides have hit the Washington Post today going into extensive detail about the wealth of realtime surveillance – both offline and online – being used to monitor users and companies. Government-sactioned equipment known as “interception units” have been installed by the FBI on private company property to feed real-time information to the NSA and CIA.


Workflow used by FBI to acquire data from a new company

The full extent of surveillance in this program has yet to be uncovered, particularly since a lot of slides remain classified. The Post has reported, however, that the built-in system has afforded the NSA the ability to “receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail”.

In addition to e-mail, voice, video and real-time text chat are also monitored via information transmitted immediately through the interception units. According to the Washington Post notes, nearly 120,000 individuals (presumably foreign nationals) have been specifically targeted by the NSA for real-time monitoring through the program.

NSA officials have not commented on the leaked information, although most of the major tech companies reportedly involved in the program have explicitly denied involvement.

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