On September 11, 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Protect America Act of 2007, allowing the National Security Administration (NSA) to start a massive domestic surveillance data-collection program known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN, code name PRISM.
"The program is operated under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Its existence was leaked five years later by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who claimed the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew, and included 'dangerous' and 'criminal' activities in law. The disclosures were published by [by Glenn Greenwald in] The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.
A document included in the leak indicated that PRISM was 'the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.' The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the FISC had been ordering a business unit of the telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers' telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis." (Wikipedia article on PRISM (surveillance program) accessed 07-07-2013).
Here is the link to Glenn Greenwald's article in www.guardian.co.uk publishing the first of Snowden's disclosures. When I linked to this on July 7, 2013 it had been friended on Facebook by 141,922 people.
♦ A more general survey of the extent of what was characterized as the "2013 mass surveillance scandal," with a summary of NSA spying programs, was available from the Wikipedia in August 2013.
♦ On August 13, 2013 The New York Times published an article by Peter Maass regarding the work of the documentary film maker Laura Poitras, telling how she and lawyer / journalist Glenn Greenwald helped Edward Snowden publish his secrets.