OK

ProPublica is a great news resource, and unlike PBS, can't be said to hew the line when a Koch coughs.

The questions raised by the secrecy around the NSA spying program or programs are nicely summarized in a short piece:

Last week saw revelations that the FBI and the National Security Agency have been collecting Americans’ phone records en masse and that the agencies have access to data from nine tech companies.

http://www.propublica.org/...

But secrecy around the programs has meant even basic questions are still unanswered.  Here’s what we still don’t know:

Has the NSA been collecting all Americans’ phone records, and for how long?

It’s not entirely clear.

And:
What surveillance powers does the government believe it has under the Patriot Act?

That’s classified.

http://www.propublica.org/...

And:

Has the NSA’s massive collection of metadata thwarted any terrorist attacks?

It depends which senator you ask. And evidence that would help settle the matter is, yes, classified.

http://www.propublica.org/...

Not to mention:

How much information, and from whom, is the government sweeping up through Prism?

It’s not clear.

http://www.propublica.org/...
One thing we don’t know is how the government determines who is a “foreign target.”
... How do they do that? Unclear.
http://www.propublica.org/...

And:

We’ve also never seen a court order related to Prism -- they are secret -- so we don’t know how broad they are. ... So, how does Prism work?
Hint: we don't know.
The Post quotes a classified NSA report saying that Prism allows “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” not the company servers themselves. So what does any of that mean? We don't know.
http://www.propublica.org/...

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