What Does PRISM Do? How Does It Work? Take 2.

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I learned today that the military—which, as you know, runs NSA—has long had an unclassified software package called PRISM that’s a sort of workflow or project management tool for information collection. Here’s a description from the Army Field Manual:

The description here of a “collection manager” initiating a sequence that results in a “mission tasking order” sounds fairly close to the Washington Post’s description of PRISM as a tool that allows “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions” to equipment installed at Google, Microsoft, and other companies.

So now I’m curious: Is Edward Snowden’s PRISM the same as the piece of software described here? Is it just a vanilla piece of project management software that’s widely used throughout the military? Or is it something else that’s more specialized and just happens to have the same name? I’m not sure who can clear this up, but perhaps either Glenn Greenwald or Barton Gellman have some insight into this.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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