PRISM Program Oversight


PRISM is subject to an extensive oversight by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.

By using PRISM the National Security Agency leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO).  This is done in order to gain an advantage for the Nation and our allies.

However, it begs the question.  Who is watching the watchers?

Judicial Oversight

All FISA collection, including PRISM, is overseen and monitored by the FISA Court, a specially established Federal court comprised of 11 Federal judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States.

Legislative Oversight

The law specifically requires a variety of reports about PRISM data to the Congress.  These reports, along with FISA Court opinions, and a semi-annual report by the Attorney General are provided to Congress.  In addition, the Congressional Intelligence and Judiciary Committees are regularly briefed on PRISM.

Executive Oversight

The Executive Branch, including through its independent Inspectors General, carries out extensive oversight of the use of PRISM, which includes regular on-site reviews. These regular reviews are documented in reports produced to Congress. Targeting decisions are reviewed by the Department of Justice.

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