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PRISM is a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program launched in 2007 by the National Security Agency (NSA), with participation from an unknown date by the British equivalent agency, GCHQ. PRISM is a government code name for a data-collection effort known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN. The Prism program collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms. The NSA can use these Prism requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the Internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier, and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things.
Tempora is the codeword for a formerly secret computer system that is used by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). This system is used to buffer internet communications that are extracted from fibre-optic cables, so these can be processed and searched. It was tested since 2008 and became operational in the autumn of 2011. Tempora uses intercepts on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet to gain access to large amounts of internet users' personal data. The intercepts are placed in the United Kingdom and overseas, with the knowledge of companies owning either the cables or landing stations.
XKeyscore or XKEYSCORE (abbreviated as XKS) is a formerly secret computer system first used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data it collects worldwide every day. The program has been shared with other spy agencies including Australia's Defence Signals Directorate, New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst. The program's existence was publicly revealed in July 2013 by Edward Snowden in The Sydney Morning Herald and O Globo newspapers, though the codename is mentioned in earlier articles, and like many other codenames can also be seen in job postings, and in the online resumes of employees.