Prism, the software that the US government uses to monitor you


Last updated: December 26, 2022

A few days ago Edward Snowden, the former CIA collaborator, revealed the existence of a surveillance program called Prism.

Following these revelations, the British daily The Guardian claims that the NSA has direct access to data hosted by American new technology giants, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and others. Barack Obama presents it as a tool in the fight against terrorism.

What is Prism?

PRISM is an electronic surveillance program set up by the United States to track the activity of each Internet user. It allows the NSA to collect intelligence from Internet companies with large personal databases. Indeed, the program allows the American government to access the data of foreign users who use GAFAM services.

But how does Prism really work?

With Prism, the NSA can connect directly to the servers of the big web giants through a backdoor which allows them to see all the information of Internet users.

Thus the Prism system can collect the following data:

  • e-mails,
  • files sent or received,
  • audio and video communications,
  • information on social networks
  • events like connecting to certain sites.


Ashkan Soltani, a computer security researcher and independent consultant, together with another researcher, nicknamed “semipr0,” have produced an infographic that neatly defines how PRISM could work:


Surveillance in the enormous amount of information collected is carried out via keywords which trigger a complete analysis of all exchanges of the people being monitored.

How to protect yourself from Prism?

When can surveillance cause harm? If we have nothing to hide from Google and others, we should have nothing to hide from PRISM, but it is a question of principle; should we allow the NSA into our lives like this? Certainly not. It's not because you have nothing to hide that you won't be held responsible for anything one day.

And if we say no to the NSA, then we should take precautions to protect ourselves from Prism or any other spyware.

Here are some tips for escaping Prism:

  • Use a “confidential” search engine that does not send the user’s IP address such as Ixquick, DuckDuckGo and Startpage.
  • Use an open source browser like Firefox or the Tor browser. Its source code is accessible. This means that it is possible to study and modify your code.
  • Beware of social media.
  • Messaging from major American companies should be avoided (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook). Choose bitmessage ou Tutanota.
  • Install the free and open source operating system Gnu / Linux.
  • In summary,
  • Use anonymizer relays to hide your IP address like using a proxy ora VPN.
  • Replace closed and proprietary solutions with free and open source solutions .


Finally, you have to keep in mind that even if you make all this effort and your social circle uses proprietary solutions, it won't be of much use. But nothing is perfect in life. Let's try to do the best we can.

Another important thing we can do to avoid Prism damage is to talk about it. Explain to those who use US services that their data is at the mercy of the US government.

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